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THE 

SEVENTH REGIMENT 

Rhode Island Volunteers 

IN THE CIVIL WAR 

1862-1865 



BY 



WILLIAM P. HOPKINS 



Snow & Faknham, Pkintbks. 

PxoTidaice, R. I. 

Hub Eng&avimg Co., Engravbks 

Boston, Man. 

1903- 



\X5 ?^«3.J^7 

pnblfcatfon Committee 

ZENAS R. BLISS 

NATHAN B. LEWIS 

^.,-- -CHARLES W. HOPKINS 



£&ftor 

GEORGE R PECK 



Entered aocofding to Act of Coc^gress in the year 1903, by William P. Hopkins, in the office of die Librarian of Congre 

at Washington, D. C. 



COMMITTEES PREFACE. 



NEARLY aU of the military organizationB from Rhode Island 
that served in the Civil War, have put forth histories for 
the purpose of perpetuating^ in enduring form^ their services 
in that war. Some of these histories were written soon after the 
retam of the different organizations from the fields when the events 
of the struggle were fresh in the minds of the officers and men who 
participated therein, while there was a keen interest in the public 
inind for everything pertaining to the details of the strife, and while 
the tender chords of grief for the fallen were still painfully vibrating. 
Smee then the greater portion, perhaps, of the participants in the 
war have joined their comrades who fell upon the field, and gone 
l>eyond the reach of our criticism or oiup praise. A new generation 
luu come upon the stage, to whom the stirring events in that crisis 
of our national existence, are only a tradition. While time has 
^linnned the perspective of the scenes in camp and field, and while 
the public interest in the events of that struggle may not now be so 
keen as formerly, nothing which has vitally affected the welfare of 
our country can ever be regarded with indifference by the worthy 
and mtelligent citizens of the Nation ; and especially to the tried 
and true, to the gray-haired veterans who fought the war for the 
preservation of the life of the Nation to a successful finish, and to 
the descendants and immediate relatives of the soldiers themselves, 
Ae heroic deeds of any regiment that saw long and active service 
in the Civil War will be of profound interest ; and we may therefore 



IV SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

be pardoned if we indulge in the belief, that many besides those who 
actually bore a part in the active work of suppressing the " Great 
Rebellion," will read this narrative of the brave and manly part 
borne therein by the Seventh Rhode Island Infantry, as recorded 
in the following pages, with mingled feelings of pride and affectionate 
interest. This would seem to be a suflScient excuse for offering to 
the public a record of the services of this organization at this late day. 

Most of the regimental histories hitherto prepared, have been 
written by men not themselves actually engaged in the strenuous 
work of the Civil War, and in the compilation of their stories, dis- 
tance has lent more or less enchantment to their view, so that in the 
historic pictures they have painted, their perspective has enlarged 
the glory and hidden much of the suffering, the weariness, and the 
horrors of actual military life in the fluctuatingj progress of a great 
war. 

In the following pages, the reader will find a plain imvarnished 
narrative, truthfully told, of the everyday life of the soldier, on the 
march, in the camp and in the field, written from the standpoint of 
the private soldier who was an active daily participant in the scenes 
and struggles of which he tells. This narrative has been reviewed 
and revised by a well-known professional gentleman of high standing 
who was also himself a soldier in the same war. More or less desul- 
tory talk in regard to the importance of having a history of the 
Seventh written, was frequently indulged in by the comrades imnae- 
diately following the close of the war, at the reunions of the regiment 
and at other times, but this wish on the part of the comrades, to 
preserve a record of their deeds in some permanent form, took i3lo 
definite shape until the annual reunion of the regiment, held 3.t 
Crescent Park, in the Summer of 1889. At this time there was corx- 
siderable discussion of the subject, and William H. Joyce, President: 



PREFACE. V 

of the Seventh Rhode Island Veteran Association, at that reunion, 
appointed an historical committee of twenty-five, consisting of the 
following members of the Association : 

Col. Zenas R. Bliss, Dr. Albert G. Sprague, Nathan B. Lewis, 
£dwin R. Allen, Mander A. Maynard, Thomas E. Noyes, William H. 
Barstow, James F. Merrill, William W. Webb, Joseph R. Brown, 
Baek R. DarUng, William A. HoUey, WiUiam P. Hopkins, William 
A. Baker, Charles H. Perkins, Matthew Donahue, James Carpenter, 
George N. Stone, Thomas B. Carr, Joseph N. Morris, Daniel S. Rem- 
ington, Joseph N. Smith, Elisha C. Knight, Edward S. Babbitt and 
FiUiam H. Joyce, Jr., the two last named being honorary members. 
At a later meeting, William H. Johnson and Charles W. Hopkins 
were added to the conmiittee. 

Ata remiion held after the death of Major Joyce, at Prescott Post 
Hall in the City of Providence, on the eighth day of October, A. D. 
1890, this committee organized by the choice of Nathan B. Lewis as 
chainnan. A committee composed of so many members was fomid 
to be unwieldy and inefficient and accomplished little of importance. 
At the smnmer remiion held at Cranston's on the Bay, on the 
twenty-second day of August, A. D. 1893, the President of the 
Aasociation, Nathan B. Lewis, appointed a sub-committee of five from 
die general committee, consisting of Mander A. Maynard, Elisha C. 
Knight, James F. Merrill, Edwin R. Allen and Charles H. Perkins, 
«id, by vote of the Association, the President and Secretary were 
^ made members of this sub-committee. 

The work of this sub-committee was designed to be more particu- 
larly that of raising fimds for the publication of the history. This 
committee solicited funds from divers members of the Association 
ftod from prominent persons in the State, and succeeded in raising a 
sum which was deemed sufficient to warrant the committee in pro 



VI SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

ceeding with the work. Among the larger of the contributors were 
Gen. Zenas R. Bliss, Captain George N. Stone and Captain George 
A. Wilbur, who subscribed one hundred dollars each, and Captain 
George E. Church and United States Senator George Peabody Wet- 
more, who gave fifty dollars each. 

One of the members of the general committee, Comrade William 
P. Hopkins, from the time of his appointment, and even before that, 
had been indefatigable in collecting material for such a work, had 
written thousands of letters, taken numerous pictures of comrades, 
and even revisited some of the camps and fields where the Seventh 
had been while in service. He had been imtiring in his devotion to 
this work, and, at the time of the appointment of this sub-committee, 
had material suflScient to make a creditable history of the regiment. 

At the winter reunion, held in the City of Providence on the thir- 
teenth day of December, A. D. 1898, the sub-committee entered into 
a contract with Comrade Hopkins which provided for the editing 
and publishing of his material, and appointed Comrades Zenas R. 
Bliss, Nathan B. Lewis and Charles W. Hopkins a special committee 
to supervise the publication of the same, with full power of approval 
and rejection of any matter which might be submitted for such a 
book. General Bliss, however, died at Washington, on the first day 
January, A. D. 1900, before this supervisory committee had accom- 
plished much in perfecting its plans for the publication of the his- 
tory, and the great bulk of the work has necessarily fallen upon tlie 
two remaining members. This supervising conunittee employed Dr. 
George B. Peck, of Providence, to edit the histroy, and he has faith- 
fully devoted a large amount of time to that work, and has sho^wTi a 
personal zeal and interest in it which the committee did not expect 
when they seciu-ed his services, and for which, the small anaoiint 
which haa been paid him, is but slight compensation. He has been 



PBEFACE. VII 

untiring and moot consciencionBly faithful in verifying Mb dates and 
facte, and it is a pleasure on the part of the committee to commend 
his services. In preparing a history of this kind, it is inevitable that 
some comrades will not be given the prominence in the work that 
their character and services would seem to demand, and while this 
book contains personal sketches and the pictures of a large num- 
ber of comrades, there are many others whom the committee would 
have been glad to have noticed in one or both of these ways, who 
have been necessarily omitted, partly for want of funds, but more 
particularly on account of the inability of the conmiittee to secure 
portraits, or the requisite information for personal sketches, from 
liTing comrades or from the friends of those deceajsied, although 
Comrade Hopkins has spent a vast amount of time and carried on a 
very extensive correspondence with all persons whose addresses 
could be obtained, that were thought likely to be interested, for the 
purpose of perfecting the work in these particulars. So that, if any 
comrade, or any relative of deceased comrades should think them- 
selves slighted or ignored in the preparation of this history, the 
committee trusts that it will not be considered intentional, and is 
regretted by them as much as by any interested person. 

Doubtless in all regimental organizations that have seen much 
service, there has inevitably been more or less of friction, jealousies 
and heartrbumings among the officers and men on account of pro- 
motions tibat were thought not to have been deserved, and by the 
want of official recognition and lack of promotion which had been 
really well-earned, and the Seventh furnished no exception to the 
common lot of military organizations in that respect. 

It is no part of the object of this work to discuss the relative 
merits or demerits of any officer or soldier of this conunand, but to 
give, as far as possible, an impartial statement of the duties per- 



Vm SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

formed by the regiment and to avoid, as far as possible, all personal 
comment and criticism. 

It is said that nothing succeeds like success, and every man has to 
bear his own disappointments and failures as becomes a man, even 
though he richly deserved a better fate. The tides of human events 
do not always cast upon the shores of observation the most valuable 
pearls of human character or human ability. History only records 
things as they appear on the surface. 

Perhaps it may not be amiss to say that the Seventh Regiment 
was recruited in the dark days of the war, not in the first fever of 
excitement and high tide of enthusiasm which followed the firing on 
Sumpter; not while the pleasing delusion prevailed in the North 
that the war would be of short duration, and that the superior num- 
bers and the weight of the financial and material wealth of that 
section of the country would speedily crush the Rebellion ; nor yet 
while the belief was still cherished that a breath of fervent patriotic 
sentiment could extingmsh the fires which the hands of treason had 
lighted. 

The Seventh, on the other hand, was recruited after the North 
had already sent to the field its most emotional sons and those who 
could best be spared, at a time when the South was exulting in its 
victories, and the people of the North were humiliated by repeated 
defeats, at a time when rebellion had reached the high tide of its 
successes and the North was depressed by many failures, when 
treason permeated many of the northern states themselves, and the 
Nation was threatened with foreign intervention. It was at a time 
when the people of the North had wrestled with the serious prob- 
lems of the gigantic task, its terrible cost in blood and in treasure^ 
had carefully discounted the sacrifices required and decided to prose- 
cute the work of strangling the monster of secession, even though 



PREFACE. IX 

their pockets and their hearts should become bankrupt. So the men 
of the Seventh enlisted at a time when the rank and file of the army 
and the great body of our citizens had come to realize what war 
meant and well knew that those who donned the blue uniform of the 
United States Army were entering upon no holiday excursion. 

Under such circumstances, perhaps it is not surprising that this 
regiment was composed of good material for the making of soldiers. 
They came from among all classes and from all conditions in 
civil life. They came from the workshops, from the farms, 
from the foundries, from the schools and from the marts of 
trade. The great bulk of the regiment was composed of young men 
who were from fifteen to twenty-five years of age — mere boys they 
would be thought to be to-day. But they developed into very eflB- 
cient soldiers. Perhaps the fact that the colonel of the regiment 
was a graduate of West Point and a captain in the regular army at 
the commencenent of the war, contributed much to the high degree 
of discipline and soldierly bearing of the regiment. Many of the 
comrades, it is well known, considered the Seventh Rhode Island, on 
account of that fact, a little nearer akin to the regular army than 
most of the other regiments with which they came in contact. 
Although the different cities and towns of the State offered bounties, 
it cannot be fairly said that this was any great inducement to 
teachers who were getting fifty dollars per month, or mechanics who 
were getting still more, and at a time when wages in all lines of 
employment were rapidly increasing, to enlist in a service requiring 
such strenuous work and involving so much of personal danger, 
where the pay of a private soldier was only thirteen dollars per 
month. So it is no imaginative assertion to say, that they went to 
this work largely from principle and love of country, inspired by the 
example of their grandsires at Bunker Hill and Yorktown; the 



X SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

following stanza from an unknown author is fairly expressive of the 
sentiments by which they were actuated : 

" Hurrah ! for our riflemen ! Men of the land 

Who have sprung up from a true-hearted yearning, 
Not eager or willing to kindle war^s brand, 

But to guard what that brand had set burning/' 

There is no intention here to eulogize their work, lest the com- 
mittee be thought egotistical, but this plain narrative of the modest 
part they bore in the effort to preserve these United States an 
undivided nation, without further comment, is submitted to the 
considerate judgment of the impartial reader. 

Nathan B. Lewis, 
Charles W. Hopkins. 



COMPILER S PREFACE, 



FORTY years have now pasaed since the organization of that 
body of men whose daily life and deeds of valor are herein 
recorded. Since the close of the momentous struggle for the 
preservation of the Union, the writer has been engaged from time to 
time in gathering up from many sources the fragments of informa- 
tion pertaining to the service of that regiment. While thus em- 
ployed he became more deeply impressed with the value of the 
service rendered and the character of the men comprising the rank 
and file of this organization. Rhode Island's Seventh Regiment was 
composed of volunteers from the various walks and vocations of life ; 
the laborer, the mechanic, the student, the teacher, the merchant and 
the professional man were all represented in its ranks. They were 
above the average in all that goes to make up an ideal command — 
fearless, courageous and determined; a large proportion of them 
were sons of sturdy farmers, who came directly from their homes 
and lifelong firesides, who knew not fatigue or exhaustion ; they were 
in the prime of yoimg manhood, conscientious and patriotic. Their 
leader was a tried soldier, skilled in the art of war, in whom they 
had implicit confidence; a confidence mutual, confirmed and cemented 
on the hard-fought battlefield, on one memorable occasion finding 
expression in the words of the commander, who had shared with 
them the terrific ordeal at the very front, " You have covered your- 
selves with mud and glory." Thus it was that the Seventh Rhode 



XU SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Island was never known to falter in the perfonnance of its duty, 
however severe or dangerous the task. 

This work is essentially a regimental history ; it is not intended 
to include within its scope matters belonging more properly to a 
history of the war and which have been fully treated elsewhere. 
The result sought in the publication of this volume is to place on 
record an authentic account of the part performed by the Seventh 
Rhode Island Regiment in the suppression of the Rebellion and to 
perpetuate the memory of the heroic men who gave up their lives 
in the service of their country. To this end, personal narratives, 
minor details, and incidents of daily occurrence, as well as the more 
serious and important events of a soldier's life, find a place in its 
pages. Special attention has been given to personal memoirs; a 
complete series of biographical sketches of all the commissioned 
oflScers, and of many of the prominent men, appears. Another 
important feature is the nmnerous portraits and other illustrations, 
which in many instances have been secured only by persistent effort 
and at considerable expense. Many himdreds of letters have been 
written and many miles traveled to secure this result. It is a 
pleasure to note that, in visiting the battlefields of Virginia, with 
camera and measuring line, and in his official visit to Vicksburg and 
surrounding country, the writer was received and entertained by 
men whose cordial greeting was only equalled by their bravery as 
foemen. 

Attention is called to the closing pages of the volume, where 
brief notes and corrections of errors which have occurred in the 
body of the work may be found. 

The writer desires to express his thanks to the comrades for the 
many favors they have always been ready to bestow. He is under 
great obligations to General Bliss (now deceased), to General Dan- 



PREFAGX. Xm 

iels; and many other officers, for aid and support. He is exceed- 
ingly indebted to Comrades Nathan B. Lewis and Charles W. 
Hopkins, the publication committee, for their earnest co-operation 
and valuable aid, and to the editor, Dr. George B. Peck, for his able 
assistance and untiring devotion to the work. 

It is with a sense of relief, as well as satisfaction, that the writer 
now submits to the favorable consideration of his comrades of the 
'^Seventh," to their friends and to posterity, this record of their 
deeds and memorial of the men who '^ died that their country might 
live." 

'' Soldier rest ! thy warfare o'er, 

Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking ; 
Dream of battled fields no more — 
Days of danger, nights of waking/' 

William P. Hopkins. 

Lawbbnob, Mass., January, 1903. 



EDITOR S PREFACE. 



*< 'TpO hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature ; to show the very 
X age and body of the time, his form and pressure," has been 
the sole aim of the editor in the preparation of this volume. 
The diflSculty of its accomplishment by one who was an absolute 
stranger to well-nigh every place, person and occurrence herein 
described or referred to, and at the same time was distant sixty-two 
miles as the crow flieth from the only source of definite informa- 
tion in the premises, may perchance be imagined. Nevertheless it is 
believed no materia/ inaccuracy exists in these pages, for their con- 
tents were culled from letters and journals carefully selected, arranged 
and copied by Comrade William P. Hopkins. Any slight inexact- 
nesses should be ascribed to the limited and the unreliable sources of 
information open to enlisted men or to the coloring of interested 
reporters. When seeking their existence, however, remember an 
" ofl&cial" stamp does not establish certitude. A number of brilliant 
gems have been lost to the work because the editor possessed not the 
knowledge essential to their proper recutting. Whatever of special 
interest and value herein obtains must be credited to the keen 
observation, the tenacious memory and the persistent efforts of the 
compiler. 

A careful perusal of the Personal Sketches is essential to an ade- 
quate appreciation of the services of the Seventh. Thereby more 
perfectiy is one acquainted with the sacrifices of the soldier and of 
his friends. Indescribably pathetic are incidents here recorded, 



PREFACE. XY 

foreign to the scope of the History proper. Here also is to be found 
graphic delineations of New England life midward the nineteenth 
century^ and here finally may be traced, step by step, the develop- 
ment of the volunteer soldier into the model citizen. Not a whit 
less interesting and instructive than the story of field service has 
been that of his subsequent life. 

The following extract from a private letter from Colonel Church, 
dated Chateau Frontenac, Quebec, September 11, 1902, is apropos : 
^'I suggest that you give the private soldier his due praise. If the 
regiment earned honors, let his be the laurel wreath ; the officers 
only directed the sturdy blows which came from his energy, his 
sacrifices and devotion. When the Seventh Regiment was at my 
heels I felt myself a match for anything the Confederacy could pro- 
duce — therefore, give the rank and file more honor in your book 
than you give to the officers." 

It is weU known Uncle Sam calls his servants whatsoever he 
pleases and exercises similar authority regarding the orthography of 
the titles bestowed. Lesser individuals naturally follow his example. 
Therefore, within the accompanying Register have been placed the 
various names by which a given individual was known to the Regis- 
ter of 1893, or to that of 1865, or to any person (as far as advised), 
that the genealogist or other antiquarian of the twenty-first or 
any subsequent century may not be misled as to the identity of the 
one under investigation. Such are hereby cautioned to waive any 
and all differences in speUing or form of name, if conjoined evidence 
establishes a probability any given comrade is he for whom search 
was instituted. 

The thanks of the Seventh Rhode Island Veteran Association are 
due the Hon. George S. Bernard, of Petersburg, Va., author of 



XVI SEVENTH RHODE ISLAKD INFANTRY. 

" Wax Talks of Confederate Veterans " and a wearer of the gray, for 
the use of his plate, from which was printed the map of that city 
and contiguous entrenchments accompanying this volume. 

The editor gratefully acknowledges his obligation to Comrade 
Charles W. Hopkins for the accurate and ample index of the regi- 
mental history proper. 

To the courtesy of the Publication Committee the editor is 
indebted for the opportunity of more perfectly identifying his per- 
sonality with that of comrades whose achievements alike in war and 
in peace render association however slight a distinguished honor. 

Geo. B. Peck. 

PBOTiDBiiroB, R. I., January SI, 1903. 



CONTENTS. 



Chapter I. 

May 22 — September 12, 1862. p^^^ 

From the Narraganflett to the Potomac, 1 

Chapter II. 

September 18 — November 20, 1862. 
From the Potomac to the Rappahannock, 12 

Chaptsb III. 

November 21, 1862 — February 8, 1868. 
Fredericksbarg, 35 

Chapter IV. 

Febmary 9— Jane 8, 1863. 
From the Rappahannock to the MiBsiBsippi, 62 

Chapter V. 

Jone 9 — August 17, 1863. 
The Miadflsippi Campaign, 87 

Chapter VI. 

August 18— December 23, 1863. 
From Cairo to Lexington, 125 

Chapter VTI. 

December 24, 1863 — April 7, 1864. 
From Lexington to Annapolis, 141 



XVm SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Chaptkb VIII. 
April 8— June 16, 1864. p^^^ 

From AanapoliB to Peterebaig, 161 

Ghaptxb IX. 

June 17 — November 29, 1864. 

Around Petersburg to Port Hell, 192 

Chaptkb X. 

November 30, 1864 — April 3, 1865. 

From Fort Hell into Petersburg, 231 

Chaptbb XI. 

April 3 — April 23, 1865. 

From Petersburg to Farmville and Return, 263 

Chapteb XII. 
Life in Fort Hell and Elsewhere, 272 

Chapteb XIII. 
The Color Guard, 291 

Chapteb XIV. 

April 24 — July 17, 1865. 

From Petersburg to Providence, 294 

Chapteb XV. 
Thirty-Seven Years After, .306 

Personal Sketches, 311 

The Register, 431 

Addenda, 526 

Partial list of Comrades Buried in the South, 532 

Index, 533 

Errata, 544 



SKIRMISHES AND BATTLES. 

PAdB. 

AmssYiULs, Rappahannock Co., Va.: 

Monday, November 10, 1862, 29 

White Sui^hub Springs, Va. : 

Wednesday, November 12, 1862, 80 

Fbsdxbicksbubg, Va. : 

Saturday, December 18, 1862, 42 

SiBGB OP Vickbbubg: 

Sanday, Jane 14 — Saturday, July 4, 1868, ... 92 

Jackson, Miss.: 

Monday, July 13, 1868, Ill 

Spottsylvania Coubt House, Va. : 

Tuesday, May 10— Thursday, May 19, 1864, 168 

Cbossing op the Nobth Anna, Va. : 

Tuesday, May 24, 1864, 177 

Nobth Anwa Riveb, Va. : 

Wednesday, May 25 — Friday, May 27, 1864, ... 178 

TOLOPOTOMY CbEEK, Va. I 

Tuesday, May 81, 1864, 181 

Bxthbsda Chubch, Va. : 

Wednesday, June 1, Thursday, June 2, 1864, . . . 182 
Cold Ha&bob, Va. : 

Friday, June 3, 1864, 184 

Mechanicsville, Va. : 

Monday, June 6, 1864, 187 

Near Mbchanicsville, Va. : 

Saturday, June 11, 1864, 189 



XX SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Paok. 

Shand's Fabm, near Petersburg, Va. : 

Thursday, June 16, 1864, 191 

Taylor's Fabm, near Petersburg, Va. : 

Friday, June 17, 1864, 192 

Aybbt Fabm, near Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad : 

Sunday, June 19, 1864, 193 

Near Nobpolk and Pktebsbubg Railboab Cut : 

Wednesday, June 29, 1864, 198 

The Cbateb (explosion of the mine), Petersburg, Va. : 

Saturday, July 30, 1864, 198 

Thk Pboram Housb, near Petersburg, Va. : 

Friday, September 30, 1864, 215 

Pegbam Fabm, near Petersburg, Va. : 

Saturday, October 8, 1864, 219 

Hatoheb's Run, near Petersburg, Va. : 

Thursday, October 27, 1864, 223 

FoBT Sedgewick (Fort Hell), Petersburg, Va.: 

under fire, November 27, 1864 — April 2, 1865, . . 229 
Expedition to Stony Cbeek, Va. : 

Sunday, December 11, 1864, 234 

Assault and Captube op Petbbsbubg, Va. : 

Sunday, April 2, 1865, 256 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Hawkins House, Newport News, Va 64 

"'Natiomd Cemetery, Camp Nelson, Ky 82 

"hiding Black Horse Cavalry 82 

''Map of Milliken's Bend, Including Vicksburg and the country to Jackson, Miss 92 

'"Wlckey Ups" 96 

'National Cemetery, Vicksburg, Miss: 

Entrance 120 

Interior 120 

Map of Petersburg, Va., lines 192 

Petersburg, Va., Poplar Spring Church 214 

^'Petersburg, Va., Plan of Fort Sedgwick 280 

''Petersburg, Vs., View of interior, 1866 284 

''Petersburg, Va., View of same location, 1892 284 

Petersburg, Va., View of Rearward of Port. 240 

^^ Petersburg, Va., View of Confederate Prison 260 

* Vicksburg, Miss., Court House 262 

Petersburg, Va., Court House 262 

''Petersburg, Va., Headquarters, Seventh Regiment in Sedgwick 264 

"" Petersburg, Va., Last meeting place of President Lincoln and General Orant 264 

''Petersburg, Va., Union Picket Poets, front of Fort Sedgwick, 1865 280 

' Petersburg, Va., View of same location, 1892 280 

^Regimental Flag 290 

'Lieutenant Merrill's Blanket 364 

•"Tlie Sutler's Camp" 422 



INDEX TO PORTRAITS. 



Allen, Edward T., CSapt 48, 388 

Allen, Edwin R., Lieut 48, 388 

Alexander, Hartford 268 

Albro, Mr 308 

Anthony, Edwoid Corp 306 

Arnold* Job Lieut.-Col 56 

Arnold, Emery J., Corp 22 

Austin, Wanton G 216 

Babbitt, Jacob, Maj 56 

Baker, William A., Corp 86, 306 

Barstow, William H., Sergt 246, 306 

Barber, John N., Sergt 86 

Barber, Gilbert M 276 

Barber, Jesse W 276 

Bassett, Nathan S., Oorp 306 

Batchelder, George T., Sergt 86 

Bates, Gustavus D., Capt 12, 340 

Bennett, Lyman M., Capt 216 

Bezeley, Jeremiah P., Sergt 138 

Bennett, George W., Sergt 86 

Belcher, Jonathan S., Sergt 138 

Beaumont, Ralph 268, 374 

Beckford, George C. . .i 86 

Bliss, Zenas R., Gen., Frontispiece, ^OS, 310 

Bisbee, William A., Sergt 246 

Blanchard, Isaac, Sergt 246 

Bolles, Albert A., Lieut 118 

Boy den, Decatur M., Sergt 138 

Brownell, Dexter L., Lieut 12 

Brownell,Thomas S., Lieut 118 

Brown, Joseph R., Sergt 172 

Brown, John D 22, 306 

Brown, George H 306 

Burgess, William R., Sergt 22 

Burgess, Benjamin W 276 

Burdick, Joseph W 284 

Carr, Thomas B., Capt 118, 306 

Carr, Jesse, Sergt 284 



Carpenter, James 22, 308 

Carpenter Richard W 306 

Carter, Gideon W 22 

Caswell, James D 308 

Church, George E., Lieut-Col 48, 314 

Channell, Alfred M., Capt 118 

Chappell, Wlnfleld S., Lieut 138 

Chase, Charles F 276 

Clark, Jonathan R.« Sergt 86 

Clark, Steadman, Sergt 246 

Clark, Stephen A 276 

Cole, Darius I., Lieut 172 

Cole, Edward C, Sergt 246 

Colvin, Charles F., Lieut 268 

Collins, Gideon F 70 

Collins, Charles H 70 

Collins, Edward F 22 

Coman, William A 276 

Gongdon, George W., Sergt 138 

Corey, Charles G., Dr 128 

Costello, George B., Lieut ^.118 

Davis, John W., Ex-Governor of R. I. .308 

Danforth, George A., Sergt 70 

Darling, Esek R., Corp 138, 402 

Dawley, Vamum H 160, 308 

Danforth, Ozias C 306 

Daniels, Herbert 138 

Daniels, Percy, Col 100, 322 

Deane, Arthur W., Sergt 268, 308 

Dexter, Alonzo 3uo 

Denlco, Joseph 306 

Dingley, Fuller, Lieut 118 

Donahoe, Matthew, i^ergt 306 

Durfee, Ueorge N., Qapt 118, 344 

Eagan, William J 308 

Eddy, Albert C, Capt 216 

Eddy, John H 216 

Famum, Samuel, Sergt 172 



INDEX TO PORTRAITS. 



XXUl 



F&7, William, Corp 268 

Feesenden, Samuel, Lietit 12 

Pifike, Alfred, Sergt 276 

FoJIensbee, Nathan G., Sergt 86 

Polflom, William 22 

Franklin, CheBter L 178 

Gaylord, William A., Dr 128 

Gallagher, William A., Sntier 422 

Gavltt, James W 208 

Gardiner, George W 70 

Gates, Hazard R 306 

Gonsolye, Franklin, Sergt 268, 806 

Gomez, Frank P 806 

Greene, Thomas, Capt 118 

GroveSp Joseph, Lieut 118 

Grafton, Joseph J. D., Sergt 12 

Green, Esek, Sergt 86, 308 

Greene, Charles B 268 

Green, George D 306 

Harris, James, Surgeon 128 

Hathaway, Cyrus B., Ldeut 12 

Harris, Orrrai, Sergt 70 

Harrington, William, Sergt 86 

Hanning, Robert, Corp 22 

Hawkins, Lewis 306 

Hawkins, George W 306 

Harrington, Albert 806 

Healey. Charles T., Lieut 22 

Hill. William, Lieut 216 

Hopkins, Charles W 808, 888 

Hopkins.- William P 246, 306, 390 

Holland, Francis B 260, 808 

Holbrook Joseph H 276 

Holley. William A 306 

Hollls, Eben 306 

Hunt, Edwin L., Capt 118 

Hull, Jcrfin K., Sergt 138 

Hunt, BCTjamin S 246 

Humes, Cbarles 308 

Inman, George B., Lieut 216 

Jenks, Ethan A., Maj 100, 808 

Jenks. Alonzo L., Sergt 22 

Johnson, William H., Lieut 360 

Johnscm, William 308 

Jones, John P., Sergt-Maj 268 

Jordan, William H 806 

JoflUn, Benjamin F 86 



Joyeaux Augusts 138 

Joyce, William H., Capt 12, 806, 346 

Kenyon, David R.« Capt 118 

Keech, Benjamin A., Sergt 70, 308 

Keegan, Thcnnas, Sergt 70 

Kellen, Charles H., Sergt 394 

Kilton, Winfleld S., Sergt 246 

Kenyon, Thomas R 276 

Kenneth, William 268 

Kendall, James 284 

Kenyon, Waits R 806 

Knightp Blisha C 806, 308, 396 

Knowles, John F., Corp 86 

LAngworthy, George A 128 

Leavens, Lewis, Capt 12 

Lewis, Nathan B., Corp., 178, 196, 306, 308, 

398, 402. 

Linnell, Dean S., Quartermaster 12 

Lincoln, Henry, Lieut 216 

Linton, Jonathan, Sergt 70 

LillibHdge, Amos A., Sergt 284 

Lowell, John Z., Sergt 276 

Luther, John 268 

ICakee, J. Frank, Sergt 22 

Manchester, Joseph S., Lieut 12 

Matthewson, Nicholas W 276 

Mathewson, Calvin R 276 

Maynard, Mander A 178, 306, 402 

May. Elisha G 216 

McFarland, Daniel, Corp 306, 308 

Merrill, James F., Lieut 308, 364 

McElroy, Samuel, Lieut 86 

McKay, John, Lieut 362 

Miller, Benjamin F., Sergt 22 

Miller, Francis M., Sergt 138 

Moore Winthrop A., Lieut 48, 216 

Morse,^ EphnUm C, Lieut 12 

Morton, Joseph W., Lieut 12 

Morse, Henry L., Sergt 86 

Morris, Joseph N 260, 306 

Mulligan, Henry A 306 

Munroe, Francis 306 

Nicholas, James N 128, 308 

Nichols Albert 306 

Nottage, John S., Sergt 138 

North up, William R., Corp 308 

Noyee, Thomas E., Corp. 178, 306, 308, 402 



XXIV 



SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 



Nye, Charles P 70 

Nye, Isaac 70 

Open, Manuel, Corp 70 

Page, Charles F., Adjt 118 

Page, Harlan A. 160, 308 

Peck George B., Lieut 424 

Peckham, Peleg E., Capt 860 

Peckham, Stephen F., Hospital Steward 

128, 336 

Pierce, Christopher R 70 

Perkins, Benjamin Q., Lieut 12 

Perkins, Charles H 306, 308 

Phelps, James T., Lieut 12, 306, 308 

Pierce, Benjamin S 308 

Porter, Charles L., Sergt 138, 308 

Potter, Henry C, Sergt 86, 306 

Potter, James N., Capt 118 

Price, James H 308 

Peckham, Benjamin 284 

Palmer, Elisha M 284 

Perkins, Palmer G 284 

Remington, James H., Capt 12 

Renieres, Frank T 306 

Richmond, Preston B 246 

Rice, Samuel E., Sergt 246 

Roberts, Henry, Sergt 22 

Rodman, Rowland G., Capt 216 

Root, Bridgman C. C, Lieut 48 

Rowe, Joseph, Sergt 246 

Rowe, James E 138 

Rowley, John H., Sergt 268 

Rounds, Chester P 216, 308 

Sayles, Welcome B., Lieut-Col 56 

Scannell, Dennis J., Sergt 86 

Simpson, Samuel F., Sergt 292 

Sisson, Benjamin F 284 

Shumway, Amos D., Sergt 138, 306 

Sherman, Daniel B., Corp 246 

Sherman, Carder H 308 

Slocum, Charles F. ; 308 

Smith, Albert L., Lieut 246 



Smith, Orlando Color Sergt 70 

Smith, James T 308 

Smith, Joseph 306 

Spencer, James B., Sergt 172 

Spencer Edwin C 306 

Spooner, Henry J., Lieut 118, 328 

Spooner Charles D., Corp 70 

Sprague Albert G., Dr 128, 334 

Sprague, John H. D., Sergt 138 

Stone, George N., Capt 216, 354 

Stone Albert 276 

Stanhope, John R., Quarermaster 12 

Stoothoff, John B., Color Sergt. . .246, 306 

Sullivan, John, Adjt 216 

Sunderland, George B 284 

Sweatt, Joseph S., Sergt 22 

Sweetland, Job R 216 

Saunders, Isaac N 284 

Taylor, Wilfred P., Sergt 246 

Taylor, Richard Edwin 70 

Taylor, Joseph 268, 308 

Tobey, Thomas F., Maj 100 

Trask, John F., Sergt 22 

Tower, John K., Sergt 276 

Warfleld. Aaron B., Sergt 160 

Webb, William W., Lieut 118, 306 

Webster. John W., Sergt 262 

Westcott, David B., Sergt 86 

Weigand, Frederick, Lieut 216 

Whitford, John R., Sergt 22 

, Whitford, Clark 306 

Whltcomb, Andrew J., Corp 138, 246 

Whitcomb, Lyman 22 

Whipple, Olney 268 

White, iiJlijah Frank 216 

Wilbur, George A., Capt 100, 356 

Wilson, Henry 268 

Winn, Theodore Capt 12 

Wood, William T., bergt 70 

Young, Henry, Lieut 118 



CHAPTER I. 

From the Narragansett to the Potomac. 

May 22 — Sept. 12, 1862. 

THE second summer of the Great Rebellion was dawning. The con- 
spirators against national unity of low degree and high, had clearly 
revealed their deadly malignity and proved themselves foemen 
worthy of our steel. Though the Stars and Stripes waved again over New 
Orleans and Island No. 10; though the Stars and Bars had fallen back to 
Corinth and were receding from Yorktown and Williamsburg toward 
Richmond, none longer imagined a blue jacket to be a free pass for a 
ninety days' pleasure tour in the Sunny South. What war means wa3 then 
as folly understood on both sides of Mason and Dixon's line as it is pos- 
sible for anyone to conceive who haB not been an eye-witness of its dread 
realities. Already in the Second and Fourth Infantry, in the Third and 
Fifth Heavy Artillery, in the First Cavalrj, and in the seven batteries of 
the Light Artillery Regiment, Rhode Island had dispatched to the front for 
three years unless sooner discharged, most of her available fighting ma- 
terial. The end of the struggle seemed far more distant than a twelvemonth 
before, yet only one supreme thought pervaded the loyal North, treason 
mtiBt be crushed whatever the cost. 

Such were the conditions when William Sprague, our "Boy Governor," 
indeed, but as a war governor without a superior among them all, issued a 
general order for the enlistment and organization of the Seventh Regi- 
ment Rhode Island Volunteers under date of May 22, 1862. Although 
recruiting oflBces had been established in most of the centres of the State, 
those in Providence were ot course chief. Rooms were secured on the 
second floor of the Washington Street front of Harrington's Opera House 
block, nearly opposite the Aldrich House office, then the terminal of all 
stage lines. The special advantages of the location were very apparent. 
Capt. Chester T. Turner had charge of this office. Inasmuch, however, as 
€?ery recruiting agent disported some titular rank conferred by courtesy, 
too much stress must not be laid upon the possession thereof by the future 



2 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

antiquarian in his attempt at the identification of special individnald. 
They received a bonus of three dollars for each man secured and marvelous 
were the methods resorted to by each in laudable rivalry to lengthen his 
own pay roll. To the novitiate the formalities necessary to complete his 
enlistment and to secure his proper paraphernalia seemed almost endless. 
When, at length, he became possessed of a suit of army clothing complete, 
a change of underclothing, a woolen and a rubber blanket, a knapsack, tin 
plate, tin cup, knife, fork and spoon, he felt himself indeed every inch a 
soldier. 

Some of the recruits, however, ruefully contemplated their illy-fitting 
uniform. Here were short men with trousers so long they had to be turned 
up well-nigh to the knee in order to prevent the wearer from tripping. 
There were tall men with nether garments so short as to clearly reveal a 
pair of attenuated calves and to render inevitable one of two things, 
the adoption of a mincing gait or a posterior disruption. Occasionally you 
might find a fellow so tightly buttoned, it seemed doubtful if he could draw 
another breath, but more frequently those whose coats were two or three 
sizes too large. When their wearers came to attention their collars well- 
nigh forced their caps off their heads. These maladjustments slowly dis- 
appeared, however, under the skillful hands of the company tailor. 

The camp to which every recruit was immediately ordered was pitched 
upon a bluff by the riverside just below Field's Point, and near the Wash- 
ington Trotting Park. It may now (1902) be identified as that portion 
of the town of Cranston designated as Edge\\ood, lying between the eastern 
portions of Montgomery Avenue (the Providence city line) and Armington 
Street Even mow it little resembles its former appearance and ere the 
last r^imental survivor passes from earth it will be covered with attractive 
residenoes. At first it consisted of three Hibley tents which were conical 
in shape and capable of accommodating twelve men comfortably. At night 
their heads rested on their knapsacks just within the outer margin of the 
tent, while their feet well-nigh touched around the iron tripod which sus- 
tained the pole that supported the peak. One of these tents was occupied 
by Capt AJbert O. Eddy, of Governor Sprague's staff, who was in supreme 
command, the others by enlisted men, foremost among whom was Joseph S. 
Manchester the first sergeant-major. Such limited accommodations were 
necessarily of brief duration. Ere long, two rows of new white "A" tents 
were set up and the first company street was formed. Other rows were 
erected from time to time hb additional recruits came in, until, at length, a 
full regimental camp was seen with all its martial glory. Correspondingly 



FROM THE NARRAGAKSETT TO THE POTOMAC. 3 

the number of commisoioned officera increased^ the glitter of their straps 
and sword hilts adding brillianoy to the scene. At first there was bot 
little dnty to perform and no restraint was laid npon the movements of 
the men. They were free to roam at their individual pleasure and to enjoy 
the excellent bathing facilities at the eastern extremity of the camp. As 
their nnmber increased^ however, sqnads and companies were formed and 
hourly drills maintained nntil the facing and the paces were perfectly 
mastered, and even the mysteries of dank and file movements thoroughly 
comprehended when each stood forth a fally developed ^^Yankee Hndsill!" 

At a comparatively early period a cookhouse wa^ erected near the lower 
end of the camp ground. Thither would the men repair at meal time with 
plate and oup for their food and coffee. They formed in line and marched 
by the delivery window whence each received his allowance. It required 
oonsiderable watchfulness and strength to maintain one's place, for oc- 
casionaJly a fellow possessed with a spirit of fun would lurch, thus send- 
ing a wave through the entire file. One or more men wr>uld be sure to 
lose their balance, and, before they could recover themselves, the line had 
closed up and their places were lost. 

Although in that ancient day Gamp Bliss (tor thus was it designated 
in honor of its colonel) seemed located in a remote and inaccessible region, 
none should for a moment ima^ne the devoted soldier boys were suffered 
to pine in solitude. If one's own relatives were too distant or too thought- 
less to oft visit their own, others had plenty of sisters and cousins whom 
they were only too glad to introduce to their chums, and many a youth made 
the (to him) surprising discovery that sympathetic glances, sunny smiles, 
encouraging words, and, perhaps, an occasional kiss might be quite as 
acceptable from new and untried fountains as from those miore familiar. 
Peddlers came in hordes vending every conceivable article from a bullet- 
proof vest (for which no sales were effected) to note paper and envelopes, 
decorated according to the fashion of the time with patriotic sentiments and 
devices comic and plain. j^7ewBboyB flooded the camp with extras con- 
taining news two hours later from the Peninsula, the Mississippi or the 
Tennessee as it might chance. A' certain musical genius occasionally drove 
out from the city with a cabinet organ, and favored the men with the latest 
patriotic songs. One day he called attention to an up-to-date production 
entitled ^'McClellan is the Man.'' This, however, did not become popular. 
Later on and just before the regiment broke camp he rendered to a group 
of listeners a soul-stirring song, "We're coming, Father Abraham, three 
hundred thousand more." 

As he continued his auditors rapidly increased in numbers, they joined 



4 SEVENTH BHODE ISLAND INPANTKY. 

in the chorus, every copy was at once disposed of, and, ere forty-eight hours 
had passed, its words were on the lips as the sentiment long had been in the 
hearts of every one. 

In the army, but not of it, were certain men who seemed indispensable, 
yet often were pestiferous — ^the sutlers. Some shrewd traflScker would 
squat on or near a camp ground and open a ^'notion'' booth. If he succeeded 
in maintaining pleasant relations with both ofScers and men, he obtained 
special facilities for transporting his wares to the front, and the venture 
proved profitable. The temptation on the one hand to dispense fire water 
surreptitiously, and on the other to overcharge his patrons, frequently 
brought an unscrupulous seeker of shinplasters unceremoniously to grief. 
The first sutler of the Seventh met that fate. One afternoon there was 
quite a little fracas at his establishment, bottles being freely used as 
weapons. The next day when he was in the city replenishing his stock his 
shanty w!as rolled off the bank and into the bay. Had the dissatisfaction 
smouldered as sometimes occurred until he had reached Dixie land with 
the usual full line of goods, the result to him would have been far more 
disastrous. Robert Wilson, a colored boy and oflScers' servant, was a con- 
spicuous character. He became proficient in military tactics and an expert 
swordsman, although prompt and thorough in the discharge of his appro- 
priate duties. 

On Sunday, August 10th, the first religious service was held in Camp 
Bliss. The tenor of the chaplain's remarks upon that occasion has not been 
preserved, but on the 24th he chose as his text, "We are more than 
conquerors," and, on the 31st, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do 
it with thy might." Possibly this last selection was prompted by the cir- 
cumstances that three days before a detail had been sent to the Rhode Island 
Hospital to escort thence the remains of a comrade who had died there to 
a grave in Locust Grove Cemetery. About this time there was a great 
demand for religious literature. That most sought after was a particular 
copy of the Holy Bible. It was adorned with mother-of-pearl and emeralds, 
but it was bound in tin. Between its lids there was a supply of poor rum. 

As items interesting, but not strictly pertinent, it may be noted that 
Governor Sprague visited the camp Thursday, August 7th, and, on the 
next Saturday evening in the presence of an immense concourse of spec- 
tators a beautiful sword was presented to Captain Eddy, who embodied the 
State's authority in the premises. It was the gift of the enlisted men of the 
Seventh in token of their appreciation of him as commander, instructor, 
and friend. 

On the night of August 31st, the men had their first taste of the delights 



FROM THE NARRAOAKSETT TO THE POTOMAC. 5 

of active campaigning. A heavy downfall of rain occurred accompanied by 
quite a gale of wind. A number of tents were blown down. Let fancy 
furnish the details of the scene, or rather of what might have been seen. 
The experience was not altogether blissful! 

On Saturday, September 6th, the r^ment was mustered into the 
United States service by one Captain Silvey, an officer evidently invalided, 
who had been assigned by government to special duty in this State. The 
next day Enfield rifles with ordinary triple-edged grooved bayonets, weapons 
of British manufacture said to have been captured in a blockade runner, 
and cartridge boxes with body belts were issued to the men, and, on the 
following day haversacks and canteens. Only one thing was now lacking, 
that one was cash. 

Accordingly, on Tuesday, the 9th, Col. Jabez G. Knight, paymaster- 
general of the State, appeared with his clerk and a large satchel filled with 
greenbacks of considerable den(Mnination to disburse its promised bounties. 
Seated behind a small table beneath a ^^fly" in front of headquarters with 
hifi clerk on his right and a commissioned officer on his left, the companies 
were successively marched up to receive their pay. The clerk called a name, 
the soldier stepped forward to the table, the officer identified the individual. 
Colonel Knight handed him three crisp bills (ordinarily), the clerk checked 
the name on the pay roll and then called the next. All this consumed less 
than a tithe of the time required to describe it. Suddenly just as Colonel 
Knight was handing three ten dollar bills to a recruit, and just as the clerk 
had checked the name there was an integrruption which stopped all pro- 
ceedings at the table and held the individual attention of the four during a 
number of minutes. When the incident was concluded the colonel said: 
''Next," and the clerk called the first unchecked name. The recruit 
remarked that he had not received his money yet, and, on request, gave his 
name wiiich was the last one checked. As neither his company officer nor 
the clerk could say whether the man had been paid or not, Oolonel Knight 
handed him the money, remarking, ^'I had rather lose thirty dollars than 
permit a soldier to!" To the credit of that particular man, as well as of 
the r^ment in general, when the colonel figured up his day's disbursement 
the balance on hand exactly corresponded. 

The forty-ninth anniversary of the battle of Lake Erie which occurred 
Wednesday September 10th, was a memorable day for the Seventh, and 
especially so for one of its members, Sergt. William H. Barstow. Captain 
Eddy was so strict a disciplinarian that it had been well-nigh impossible 
to secure a furlough even for twenty-four hours. The soldier had promised 
a charming maiden the honor of becoming his widow, but no opportunity 



6 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

had presented for the accomplishment of an all important preliminary. 
Finally, this mioming, the young lady with spirit befitting a soldier's bride, 
presented herself at camp, and, in the colonel's tent, before the officers, their 
wives and their daughters as witnesses, was united by the r^mental chap- 
lain to him upon whom she had bestowed her affections in the holy banns of 
matrimony. When, that very afternoon, he bade his comely bride farewell, 
he remarked to his comrades that he had courage enough to face Stonewall 
Jaqkson himself. Fortunately upon the return of peace he was restored to 
his loved one, though bearing upon his person indubitable proofs of his 
heroism. 

Toward noon the men b^an to try on their "traps," to adjust properly 
the straps by which they were held, and to move about somewhat in order 
to become accustomed to the load, and to form an opinion of their own 
carrying capacity. In addition to their regular equipments they were 
burdened through mistaken kindness with numerous gifts, such as work 
bags, extra socks, gloves, handkerchiefs, Testaments, pictures, water filters, 
and revolvers. Soon after noon the companies began to form in their 
streets. At one o'clock, the r^ment was in line, and a few moments later 
commenced its march by the flank, doubled files, toward Broad Street. 
Down this familiar thoroughfare the column passed to Adelaide Avenue, 
and through that to the Mashapaug station of the Stonington Railroad, 
where at 2.15 cars were found in waiting. To most it was an exceeding dis- 
appointment that they were not permitted to parade through the city and 
entrain near the Cove basin, but there was no remedy. At 3.30 the last 
man had been embarked, the last farewll had been spoken to the many 
friends who had accompanied them thus far and the train moved slowly off. 
Presently it stopped to permit another train to pass, so it was nearly four 
o'clock before they were fairly started on their long, and to some^ their 
last journey. Qroton was reached in the early evening when the men 
were immediately debarked and marched on board the steamer Common- 
wealth. Before the boat left its pier, Isaac B. Manchester, a member of 
Company I, from Bristol, was crowded off into the water by a horse. He 
was promptly rescued, but it is doubtful if he ever recovered from the effects 
of the plunge. He was discharged from an army hospital in Washington, 
December 1st, and died at his home a few months later. 

It was ten o'clock when the steamer loosed its moorings. The night was 
delightful. Thoroughly aroused by the novelty of the situation, but few 
sought their berths, and they were on deck at the first appearance of dawn. 
The scenery was new to most and correspondingly attractiva Everything 
of interest on either shore was pointed out by the knowing ones and dis- 



PROM THE NAKRA6ANSSTT TO THE POTOMAC. 7 

eQ886d by all. Most notable was a fine view of the mammoth steamship 
Chreat Eastern, afterward celetoated as an oceanic snbmarine cable layer, 
but then anchored near Hell Gate. The New Ycnrk pier was reached at six 
A. u., September 11th. 

Here another disappointment befell the men. Instead of marching 
through the city after impatient confinement on shipboard until nine o'clock 
they stepped upon the wharf and thence upon another steamer, the John H. 
Potter, then plying r^ularly to South Amboy. Rations were immediately 
served, lines were cast off, the whistle was blown, and again the regiment 
was moving toward its objective. The morning was incomparable. The air 
was clear and bracing, the scenery picturesque. Animated conversation 
and patriotic songs betokened spirits in harmony with nature. As the 
boat passed along between Staten Island and the Jersey shore, bells rang, 
handkerchiefs were waved, flags flung to the breeze, whistles shrieked their 
welcome and loud hurrahs were given, to all of which the Seventh responded 
with rousing cheers. 

Port was reached soon after meridian. The transfer to the cars of the 
Camden and Amboy Railroad was speedily accomplished, and without delay 
the iron horse m^ved on. The ride was through a flat, desolate, dusty 
region; the afternoon was sultry, but the melons and peaches furnished at 
the few stopping places were delicious. The train arrived at Camden in 
five hours, and, just as the sun went down, all were massed on the ferry 
boat that waa to land them in the Quaker City. From its deck in the deep- 
ening twilight the enkindling of the- street lights on the approaching shore 
was clearly discernible. 

To the boys, when landed, it seemed as if all Philadelphia had turned 
out to greet them. First children and then older people gathered about 
the soldiers almost obstructing their progress. Some asked where they 
were from, others what regiment it was. Even the ladies came out to give 
encouragement by a friendly handshake, and it was soon evident that this 
was a city of sisterly as well as of brotherly love. Most of the residences* 
along the street were old three-story brick houses with green shutters and 
brick sidewalka Many were half concealed by the thick foliage of trees, 
but all apartments were hurridly lighted, every window thrown open, and 
each porch and each door had its welcoming group. Some good voices near 
the head of the column started the song, "We're coming, Father Abraham, 
three hundred thousand more," and high rose the chorus. Farther back 
others sang, "John Brown's body lies mouldering in the grave," and their 
voices rang out rich and full. Nearer to the rear were some more tenderly 
inclined who marred the harmony of the occasion by commencing 



8 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

^' Fairy Belle, gentle fairy Belle, 
Pride of the valley and lily of the dell." 

Thus the trip from the wharf to the refreshment saloons seemed more like 
a festival than a march. 

The Volunteer Refreshment Saloons were two in number and named the 
Union and the Cooper Shop respectively. They were located so that the 
soldiers could be entertained with the least possible loss of time; the former 
at the corner of Prince and Front Streets covering a space of one hundred 
and fifty by ninety-five feet on land owned by the Philadelphia, Wilming- 
ton and Baltimore Railroad, which refused compensation for its use; the 
latter on Osw^o Street about fifty yards from Washington Avenue. They 
were supported by subscriptions from citizens and governed by a joint com- 
mittee which prevented all friction. Fifteen thousand soldiers were enter- 
tained in a single day. Of the Seventh, 488 men and officers were fed at 
the Union and 487 at the Cooper. 

Upon arrival at these saloons arms were stacked, knapsacks were 
unslung, and suitable attention rendered. Long rows of wash baains were 
most welcome objects after long journeys by rail and weary marches 
through dusty streets. Soap there was, too, and snow white towels in 
abundance. Those who were entertained at the Union were then con- 
ducted into a capacious though not very high hall, bearing here and there 
trace© of removed partitions. It was beautifully festooned and appropri- 
ately decorated with mottoes. Five long tables reached well-nigh from end 
to end. They were neatly covered with white cloth and set with plates, tin 
cups, castors, and such other things aa are essential to the comfort of five 
hundred men. At the extreme end of the room were two handsomely laid 
tables for the officers. When the men lined up to their tables they found 
them beautifully spread with nice bread, hot coflFee, cold meats, pickles, 
butter, cheese, and fruit. They were urged to partake, were sympathizingly 
questioned, and cheerfully answered. There was also an annex where a 
sick or wounded soldier could be nursed, and where writing materials with 
postage stamps were issued free. The average expense was about one hun- 
dred dollars for each thousand men. 

When the Rebellion first broke out, though thousands of soldiers were 
passing through Philadelphia, there were no means for providing an im- 
mediate meal for them. In Southwark a number of patriotic ladies erected 
a little street comer saloon whence they issued hot coffee and such other 
refreshments as they could afford. From this humble banning sprang 
the magnificent charities just described. When troops were approaching 



FROM THE NARRA6AKSETT TO THE POTOMAC. 9 

the city their namber was telegraphed, and, upon their arrival at Camden, 
a signal gun was fired so that when they reached the saloons an excellent 
and abundant supply of food was awaiting them. Whatever the hour of 
their coming, at day or at night, the hospitality of Philadelphia was never 
found wanting. 

It was usual for military commands en route for Washington to land 
at the foot of Washington Avenue, on the Delaware, and take the cars for 
Baltimore at the intersection of that avenue with Broad Street; but other 
plans had been made for this regiment. From the saloons it proceeded to 
the Baltimore and Ohio depot. The streets through which it marched were 
thronged on either side. It was not a welcome merely, but an ovation. 
Shouts and cheers for Rhode Island and Pennsylvania rent the air; flags 
Hcd handkerchiefs waved in every direction, officers and soldiers shook 
bands with ladies and gentlemen until their arms were weary. All were 
eager to bid the boys of the Seventh a patriotic farewell. They even went 
to the cars and waited upon them there, doing errands, filling canteens, etc., 
until the train departed. It had oft been a matter of wonderment when in 
Rhode Island how Pennsylvania could raise so many troops so readily. 
After that night there was no surprise, such was the enthusiasm and 
devotion everywhere displayed. 

As the regiment neared the depot rain commenced to fall and the shelter 
of the cars was appreciated, even though they were freight cars and each was 
crowded to its utmost capacity. At eleven p. m. the train slowly started. 
As its speed increased every one realized that the road was exceedingly 
rough. Jolted from side to side, though the night was dark and stormy, the 
weary soldiers sought rest in vain. Frequent stops and long delays ren- 
dered the men anxiously inquisitive as to the cause. Stonewall Jackson 
was nifaking a raid through Maryland, and many expected he would attempt 
to sever communication between Philadelphia and Baltimore. Indeed, it 
was rumored that he was within fifteen miles of the latter city, and his 
reputation for suddenly appearing in unsuspecting localities was believed 
to be a prominent factor in the mysterious delays. 

Friday, September 12th, at seven a. m., the train reached Havre de Grace 
and was ferried in sections across the Susquehanna. At this time an acci- 
dent occurred which narrowly escaped serious consequences. One of the 
cars filled with men was run partially oflF the boat, an entire truck hanging 
suspended over the water. The occupants leaped for their lives. The car 
however, was promptly drawn back, its passengers re-entered it and soon 
the journey was resumed. On nearing Baltimore a noticeable change 
came over the language of the people. Inquiries as to the distance of that 



10 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

city elicited the indefinite statement that it was "a right smart ways to 
Bawltimer." 

The train arrived in the Monumental City at nine a. m. It had been 
customary to detach the locomotive and use horses to draw the cars across 
to the Washington depot more than a mile away, and, naturally, the r^ular 
program/me was looked for. Great was the surprise of the boys, therefore, 
when they were ordered to leave the cars and form in a muddy, dirty street. 
At once they asked the place; it was the scene of the assault upon the 
Sixth Massachusetts. 

The contrast between the receptions at Baltimore and Philadelphia 
sent a chill to the heart of every soldier. In sullen silence a majority of 
the people gazed upon the line of the boys in blue as it passed. But few 
cheers and meagre display of fiags were met along the route. At length 
the "New England Belief Association Booms" were reached where refresh- 
ments were provided. The remaining march to the depot was brief. Cars 
were found there but in insufficient quantity. The men were much crowded, 
consequently some gave way to grumbling. However, quiet rest was 
secured until four p. m., when the train started for the national capitol. 
During the long wait Company D raised f2.60 by subscription and pur- 
chased a flag, which was flourished with appropriate demonstrations and 
cheers. This revived somewhat the weary ones. Many had already climbed 
to the tops of the cars to obtain fresh air and to enjoy the scenery. Indi- 
cations of nearing the enemy's country now rapidly multiplied. Every 
little way clusters of white tents were passed whose patriotic occupants 
greeted the Seventh with ringing shouts, to which the men on the cars re- 
sponded until they were hoarse. 

The first important stopping place was at the Belay House Junction, 
seven miles from Baltimlore. It is romantically situated in a country of 
exquisite natural beauty. Here is an immense granite viaduct over the 
Patapsco Biver, and, in the centre of the junction triangle, a granite monu- 
ment to the memory of the engineer of the railroad bridge. Immediately 
after the riot in Baltimore, in 1861, because of its position the place became 
of considerable importance General Butler made it his headquarters and 
controlled the railroad between that city, Washington and Harper's Ferry. 
Much enthusiasm was manifested by the troops stationed at the bridge. 

Twilight was fast ushering in the shades of night when the train reached 
a curve in the road where that very morning the rebel sympathizers of the 
neighborhood had assembled and pulled down the telegraph wires. Just 
previous to our arrival the wires had been temporarily tied up to the pole^, 
but they hung so low as almost to drag on the train. In this way William 



FROM THE KABRA6ANSETT TO THE POTOMAC. 11 

P. Hopkins, of Company D, was thrown to the ground. Other men on the 
tops of the cars by a dexterous use of their hands and feet kept the wires 
above them until the train was stopped. Had it been moving rapidly many 
would have been swept off and seriously injured. 

Comrade Hopkins thus relates his experience: ^'With tw^ comrades 
I was on the top of the car next to the locomotive at the forward end. On 
top of the car farther back were several others who respondingly flourished 
the little flag purchamd by Company D in Baltimore. The staff of the flag 
came in contact with sagging wires, and they in turn with the sm<Aestack 
of the locomotive which depressed them still farther, so that they b^an to 
drag and rattle on the tin roofs of the cars. One wire closed in a coil about 
my feet and gave wie a jerk toward the right hand side of the train. I 
knew nothing more until the next morning, although I remember to this 
day just how the rail looked upon which m^ head struck, it being a rail of 
the parallel track. A gash was cut in my scalp five and one-quarter inches 
in length diagonally under my hatband above the right ear. 

'^4Lt daybreak the confused noise of neighboring locomotives aroused me 
from slumbar, and gradually I felt life and the love of it returning. I 
endeavored to look about me. To everything, even to the place itself, was I 
a total stranger. I began to guess where I could be. Slowly the last 
recollection of the previous day came to mind. I discovered my head was 
injured and enveloped in blood-stained bandages stiff and dry. Then I 
became s^isible that all my personal effects were missing, including my 
money and the other contents of my pocket I was wondering what had 
become of them when a familiar approaching voice aaked: 'How are you 
this morning?' I then learned that I was in Washington, that I was on 
the second floor of the Soldiers^ Retreat, and that the railroad tracks ran 
jost beneath the railing. 

'Toward noon with several comrades I was assisted into a painfully, 
ceaselessly jolting, hooded army wagon and carried to camp. There I was 
placed under a fly tent when Surgeon Harris dressed my injured head and 
I enjoyed, immediately after, a refreshing bath. During the afternoon 
Colonel Bliss called to inquire concerning me. He returned my missing 
belongings and congratulated me in that the injury was lees than was at 
first supposed. He remarked that my head was well stuffed or it would 
have been split open by the force of such a blow. Thus, like some others, 
I was without my senses when first I arrived at the capital." 



CHAPTER II. 

From the Potomac to the Rappahannock. 

September 13 — Noyembbr 20, 1862. 

AS the flpst pay of light illumined the eastern horizon Saturday, Sep- 
tember 13th, each Yankee boy, brimful of inherent inquisitivenees, 
started forth to discover what manner of land he was in. Curiosity 
concerning his immediate surroundings was speedily satisfied, however, for 
when breakfast call was sounded all promptly responded. The meal was 
pretentiously served at the Soldiers' Retreat so named, it was alleged, on 
account of the repellant character of its bill of faire. The food was unfit 
to eat. Many left the tables without tasting a single thing. As the officers 
provisioned themselves they filled up at the National Hotel. Late in the 
forenoon the regiment marched to East Oapitol Hill, where half a mile east 
of the Oapitol itself camp was established. The order of the companies 
from right to left according to the seniority of their respective commanders 
was C, G, K, F, I, E, H, D, A, B. 

Sunday, 14th. Just at daybreak reveille called every one forth. The 
sleepy men stumbled into line, each orderly called off the hundred names in 
his company, and all kinds of voices answered ''Here!" When he was satis- 
fled none were missing he reported to his superior officer "All present or 
accounted for," and then announced the unfortunates who were to perform 
guard duty the next twenty-four hours. Gen. N. P. Banks passed by during 
the day and was loudly cheered. 

Last night the countersign was Washington, and Christopher Murray, 
of Company E, chanced to be on guard when Lieutenant-Colonel Sayles 
rode up and endeavored to pass his post. Murray promptly challenged the 
colonel who failed to respond correctly. Thereupon the soldier imme- 
diately pulled the officer off his horse and emphatically demanded, "Say 
Washington !" 

Tuesday, 16th. The camp was full of rumors. One that seemed 
reliable, and that afterwards proved true, was that the rebels had captured 
Harper's Ferry. Fifteen thousand men were said to have been taken also. 




Q- 3f . Saand Feamendev. 
Q. M. Seist. J. D. Grafton, 
^-wttt. Cjrnis B. Hathaway. 
Cape Tbeodore Winn. 



Capt. Gostavtu D. Bates. Q. M. Dean S. Linnell. 

Capt. James H. Remington. Cape. Lewis Leavens. 

Lieut. James T. Phelps. Lieut. Joseph W. Morton. 

Lieut. Benjamin G. Perkins. Lieut. Dexter L. Brownell. 



Q. M. John R. Stanhope. 
Lieut. Joseph S. Manchester. 
Capt. William H. Joyce. 
Q. M. Ephraim C. Morse. 



FROM THE POTOMAC TO THE RAPPAHANNOCK. 13 

The climajc of ezcit^nent was attained^ however, when it wbb annoonced 
that the right wing of the r^ment had received marching orders. The 
battalion was soon formed and departed for parts unknown amid the cheers 
of their forsaken comrades. It marched down Capitol Hill, up Pennsyl- 
vania Avenoe, through Fourteenth Street, across Long Bridge, and along 
the Fairfax Boad some two miles westerly to high ground, where it 
bivonacked a short distance south of said road. The day was foggy and 
the night rainy, hence there was considerable grumbling about the lack of 
tents which did not arrive until the next day. 

Wednesday, 17th. Major Babbitt had remained in command of the 
left wing. All at once there was a burst of cheers from the several com- 
panies. Orders to be ready to march at a moment's notice had passed 
aronnd with lightning speed. Its destination, which was secret, afforded 
the chief topic of conversation. Bations were issued, a portion of which 
were hams of unwholesome flavor. Soon, under intense excitement, the 
battalion stared forth, as it subsequently discovered, on the exact route 
of its antecedent comrades. The avenue was anything but an ideal parade 
ground. The pavement, never of the best, was thoroughly honey-combed, 
and wagons crashed well-nigh axle deep into holes, whence they were extri- 
cated only by a wrench of the mules and a yell of the driver. Ooats and 
swine enjoyed the freedom of the city. Everything betokened a pause in 
the arts of peace. As we marched along many of the prominent features 
of the city were recognized, though beheld for the first time. A brief halt 
was ordered on the treeless Potomac Flats opposite the Washington Monu- 
i&ent Thousands of beeves corralled near by with an immense drove of 
mnles penned in one comer elicited wondering comments. To the evident 
•satisfaction of all, our steps were next directed to Long Bridge and Virginia 
soil, the men meanwhile craning their necks to view the city where Ells- 
worth met his death. Ck>nstant though distant booming of artillery was 
distinctly heard, and rumor reported that a battle was in progress in Mary- 
land not far from Harper's Ferry. It proved to be the cannonading at 
Antietam. 

Passing along the Fairfax road many camps were noted on either hand. 
At length, having accomplished an eight-mile march that was rather hard 
for beginners, we turned off toward the south, and, in a few moments, were 
agreeably surprised to be reunited with the other battalion. The place 
was dnbbed Camp Chase. The ground was hilly and covered with shrubs 
and tall grass. To the northeast was Fort Craig and beyond Fort de 
Kalb; to the west Fort Albany, one of the most imposing and important 
of the defensive works on Arlington Heights. Later in the day the 



14 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Eleventh New Haanpshire came and encamped on our right. SoQn after 
the Twentieth Connecticut and the One Hundred and Twenty-third New 
YJork arrived, while in the early evening the One Hundred and Thirly-eighth 
New York appeared, and, after some difficult mianoeuvering, camped on a hill 
to the west and rear. Naturally our first hours here were marked with some 
confusion, but when night fell the tired men sought only to close their eyes 
and obtain rest. One by one the drums ceased their roll, the tones of dis- 
tant bugles grew fainter and fainter, the last lights in the tents were extin- 
guished and silenced reigned. 

Thursday, 18th. This morning the men were ordered to clear up the 
grounds. Then, as the water supply was remote and deficient, and moreover 
unfit for drinking purposes, the digging of a well was commenced. Com- 
pany drills were held during the forenoon, and our first battalion drill in 
the afternoon. The weather was hot and oppressive. To-day the regiment 
was brigaded with the Twentieth Connecticut, the One Hundred and 
Twenty-third New York, the One Hundred and Thirty-eighth New York, 
and Hasting's Keystone Battery, of Philadelphia, as the second brigade in 
Gen. Silas Casey's division, and assigned to the command of Oen. Gabriel 
Paul, who later lost both eyes at Gettysburg. 

The men enjoyed their surroundings exceedingly. Beyond the con- 
tiguous camps on nearly every hilltop to the south, east and west, could be 
seen an earthwork displaying the Stars and Stripes. The outward slope 
of their embankments was surrounded by a trench, on the exterior edge of 
w^hich was a compact, tightly woven barrier constructed of roots and such 
like material as was available. The interior had no roof, but was equipped 
with artillery. A spacious parade ground, officers' quarters, barracks for 
the men, and stables for horses and mules completed the ^^post." AH were 
tem'porarily constructed, and, when deserted, speedily fell into ruins. 

The devastating hand of war was plainly evidenced on every side. 
Homesteads were deserted or occupied by trembling owners who knew not 
how soon the torch might reduce their structures to ashes, fences demolished 
to feed the campfires of the soldiery, and forests leveled lest they should 
conceal some lurking foe. The roads were filled with army wagons instead 
of farmers' produce teams and family carriages. Even the placid Potomac 
was vexed at its burden of war vessels, transports and supply ships, while 
the national city itself in all its unfinished grandeur with the dome of its 
capitol yet incomplete, and the Washington Monument only sufficiently 
raised to indicate its finished proportions was an impressive emblem of 
the peril to popular government. Nature herself evidently had determined 
that her assistance should not be lacking in the defence of such a cause^ for 



FROM THE POTOMAC TO THB RAPPAHANNOCK. 15 

she had snrrounded its citadel with a labyrinthine circle of hills, each of 
which was now a fortified camp. Free intercommnnication was main- 
tained by Long Bridge, the chiefest thoroughfare. Aqueduct Bridge, which 
had formerly been an aqnedoct for the Chesapeake and Ohio Oanal, bat 
whose floor in the winter of 1861-2 had beai overlaid with planks thus 
converting it into a military bridge of mnch importance, and Chain Bridge 
at Little Falls five miles above Washington, a timber trussed stractnre 
over 400 yards in length, resting on abutments and piers of masonry, built 
to replace a former suspended structure carried away by a flood. 

On Friday, 19th, and again on Tuesday, 23d, General Casey reviewed his 
division of two brigades, containing nearly ten thousand men, composed of 
eight regiments and four batteries, all new and nearly full. It was a dusty 
three-mile trip to the parade ground, the Potomac Flats. It did not take 
long to learn that in Virginia when the sky is not traveling earthward in 
rain the earth is moving skyward in dust. 

Sunday, 21st. Religious service was held at eleven o'clock, the first 
since leaving Camp Bliss. The regular weekly inspection was made at 
ten o^clock. This was a big affair. On Saturday, officers, men, muskets, 
equipments, tents, and cookhouses were carefully cleaned, clothes thor- 
oughly brushed, buttons burnished, and shoes polished. Next day in full 
rig, kni4>8ack8 and all (heavy marching order as it was sometimes termed), 
the regiment was formed on the parade ground and was inspected by its 
commander, one company at a time, commiencing on the right. A wearisome 
exercise it was for those who came last Then the men's quarters were 
inspected while they stood at attention outside and saluted as the officers 
passed ; nor did the cookhouse at the foot of each company street with its 
mefls-pans and camp kettles escape keen scrutiny. Comrade Hugh McNulty 
nsed to say that reviews and inspections were purely an invention to get 
the men to wash. 

Wednesday, 24th. After days of incessant labor at well digging, 
water was reached in abundance. It was necessary, however, to station 
a guard over it to preserve order and regulate its delivery. Each morning 
hundreds of letters were sent home by mjembers of the regiment, and each 
night other hundreds were received by the fortunate ones. One day the 
Seventh was ordered out for brigade drill, but when General Paul dis- 
covered it had no colors he promptly ordered it back to its quarters. 

Friday, 26th. !This evening between eight and nine the band of the 
Eleventh New Hampshire, which was camped near by, came over and sere- 
naded Colonel Bliss. Its excellent music soon attracted a crowd of officers, 
who formed a semi-circle around a huge bonfire in front of headquarters. 



16 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

sitting on the ground, standing or reclining as fancy prompted. Outside^ 
and a few paces retired, was a dense throng of the soldiery. Within, on 
camp stools, sat the commanding officer with his field and stafif, and his 
honored guests. The weird light from the fire cast such a strange unearthly 
glare over the entire scene as indelibly to stamp it on the memory of all 
present. Speeches were called for from several officers present, and some 
responded in words no less happy than the occasion demanded. Colonel 
Harriman and Major Farr, of the Eleventh New Hampshire, were earnest 
and eloquent, while Colonel Boss, of the Twentieth Connecticut, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Wooster, of a neighboring regiment, and our own Lieutenant- 
Colonel Sayles spoke with equal enthusiasm and power. Colonel Bliss 
could not be prevailed upon to utter a word, though they dragged him off 
his seat. After more music by the band, the speakers, the band, and Bhode 
Island were loudly cheered, and the company separated realizing more 
than ever that they were a single brotherhood engaged in common service. 

Saturday, 27th. Morning drill in the manual of arms. One company 
oomimander, who had familiarized himself with the tactics but had not 
practiced its instructions, after bringing the guns into the proper position 
gave the familiar order "Load in nine times — Load !" and then suggestively 
added, "If you can do it, go ahead — I can't !" 

Sunday, 28th. Beligious services were conducted by Lieut. Joseph W. 
Morton. Governor Sprague, Lieut.-Gov. Samuel Q. Arnold and Major 
Potter were present at drees parade. Addresses were made by the two 
former, and also by Lieutenant-Colonel Sayles. The Governor was on his 
way home from the council of the loyal governors at Altoona, Penn. The 
fare at this camp was excellent and abundant, the weather delightful and 
the health of the regiment good. 

About midnight an order to march reached our camp, and not only 
ours but that of every r^ment in the brigade as well as many of those on 
the hillsides around us. The men were awakened, duly notified, and told 
they must be in line at eight o'clock in the morning with two days' rations. 
Soon blazing campfires all along our lines bore witness to the activity of 
preparation, and steamting kettles told of rations ahead. At reveille these 
were nearly ready, the canteens filled and the knapsacks packed. These 
were to be left, with no bright prospect of seeing them again, in our tents 
which were to remain standing, so our haversacks were stuffed with as 
many valuables as we could find room for. Only blankets could be taken, 
for the expedition was to be made in light marohing order. 

Monday, 29th. Everything was in readiness at the appointed hour, 
but no command caane — only the inevitable military delay. The men 



FROM THE POTOMAC TO THE RAPPAHANNOCK. 17 

lounged around their tents, some wiearying of the waiting, others enjoying 
it. Mid-afternoon came; the hungry ones ate their lunch, others hastily 
penned notes telling of the movements. Finally, about four p. m., we were 
drawn np in line, and, preceded by the Twentieth Connecticut and the One 
Hundred and Twenty-third New York, started for the Baltimore and Ohio 
depot in Washington, which we reached after a dusty march about eight 
o'clock. Here another vexatious delay was encountered, and, finally, the 
regiment was obliged to bivouac in one of the dirtiest locations the streets 
of Washington could afford. The night was damp and chilly, no shelter 
was obtainable, and the men rested and slept but little. 

Tuesday, 30th. At one p. m. we boarded a train of box cars that soon 
started in the direction of Baltimore. J. F. Brown was left at the Mount 
Pleasant Hospital, where he died October 5th. TThe engine attached to the 
train was a curiosity; the soldiers called it a hunchback. It was an old 
worn-out machine loaded with clanking parallel rods, levers, and valve 
gear, very short and top heavy. The cab was immediately behind the smoke- 
stack on top of the boiler. On either side were separate ladders by which 
the engineer and fireman reached their respective stations. A short railed 
walk extended from the cab back to a flight of steps by which the latter 
descended to the tender. The bell was suspended beneath the boiler amidst 
moving machinery and escaping steam. 

Late in the evening we reached the Belay House Junction, thirty-one 
miles from Washington, where another train was waiting headed for 
Harp^s Ferry. To this the regiment was soon transferred, and, ere long, 
but not until rain commenced to fall, a start was made toward Monocacy 
Junction our rumored destination. The first bait of nearly half an hour 
was occasioned by a hot box. When again under way the engineer used 
the reverse lever frequently and so vigorously that the cars bumped to- 
gether with great force, tumbling the men over the narrow benches and 
piling them one upon another in total darkness. Remember, this was long 
before the day of buffer couplings. Miller platforms, and airbrakes, that 
insure smooth riding and easy stoppings. Candles were useless, for when- 
ever ^'dowu brakes" was sounded the effect was as if the engine had struck 
a rock, and they were instantly toppled to the floor and extinguished. Other 
trains were met at intervals whose awfully piercing, long shrieking whistles, 
clanging bells and flashing headlights as they dashed past vividly sug- 
gested pandemonium, while the double jar seemed to cause each car to leap 
from the rails, and after the manner of beasts rub sides in momentary 
greeting as they passed on their respective ways. Little wonder the men 
became thoroughly dii^usted and indifferent even to death itself. A single 

2 



18 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

accident occurred during the trip. William A. Hall, of Company H, acci- 
dentally shot himself while carelessly discharging his pistol from the car 
door. The ball entered the palm of the left hand and came out twx) inches 
above the wrist. 

OCTOBBE^ 1862. 

Wednesday, Ist. The train arrived at Frederick, Md., considerably 
before light, and was side-tracked near a well-fenced grass plot of several 
acres southeast of and overlooking the city. Here the Seventh bivouacked 
during their stay, leaving the cars at early dawtn. The weather was quite 
*oggy. Charles B. Green, of Company A, was found to be seriously ill, 
and was at once placed in a hospital where he died October 5th. Union 
oamps were on every side. Upwards of 40,000 troops, a portion of the 
Army of the Potomac, were close at hand. It was said that within half a 
mile of our camp skirmishing commenced that ended in Antietam. The 
city was filled with the wounded of both armies from that battlefield and 
from South Mountain. The narrow streets were crowded with the impedi- 
menta of war, the side streets choked with wagon trains helplessly waiting 
for marching colunms to pass. The city contained about 9,800 inhabitanta, 
wiaj9 regularly laid out, and, though containing a number of fine buildings, 
private and public, seemed quaint and old-fashioned. It is noted as the 
place of birth and burial of Francis Scott Key, the author of the "Star 
Spangled Banner." When the rebel advance was reported every male citi- 
zen immediately fled the town. One old gentleman informed a group of 
soldiers that he went thirty miles to escape the Confederates, who by the 
way scrupulously paid their "six months after the war," etc., nkoney for 
what dealers were willing to sell. When Stonewall Jackson entered no 
secession flags were thrown out to greet him, but when the Union cavalry 
drove out his rear guard the national flag was displayed in all parts of the 
city. The day before the Seventh's arrival, the body of Brig.-Gen. Isaac P. 
Rodman was taken through Frederick on its way to its last resting place 
near his old home in Rhode Island. 

Thursday, 2d. During the two days' tarry of the raiment at this 
place a sensational scene transpired which merits ample consideration that 
the memory of a faithful defender of his country may receive that vindica- 
tion that even the Official Register of Rhode IsUmd Volunteers (1893) fails 
to afiford, presumably for reasons indicated in his record as there given. 
Orderly Sergt. Henry Roberts, of Company E, was a man of imposing 
appearance, thoroughly drilled, possessed of a commanding voice, and was 
a general favorite. Unexpectedly an oflftcer of the Fifth Connecticut 



PROM THE POTOMAC TO THE RAPPAHANNOCK. 19 

appeared at camp and established the fact that he was a deserter from that 
raiment He wsb accordingly sent back to his old organization, where 
he was known ss Corp. Edward Boot, keenly sensitive to his position. The 
following letter sufficiently explains the situation, while it illnstrates also 
how occasionally faithful soldiers were victimized by an unworthy officer : 

NOBTH UxBBiDOB, Mabb., April 20, 1896. 

Mfi. W. P. HOPKIHS. 

DsAJt Sra AHD COMBADB : Youn of the 13th inst. received. I well knew Corporal 
Edinud Root. He enlisted in my Company K, Fifth Connecticat Volunteers, Jaly 22, 1861. 
He bad senred a term of enlistment in the United States regular service and was a first- 
late soldier and the best driUed man in the regiment. At Hancock, Va., 1862, he had 
trouble with his lieutenant, Hamilton. The lieutenant was the one in error. Boot was 
tried, oonyicted, and sentenced to one year at the Rip Raps and tweWe dollars a month 
stopped from his pay. The same night that his sentence was read on dress parade Root 
deserted. Not a man in the regiment from the Colonel down blamed him. On May 25, 
18e2, by order of Gen. N. P. Banks, I, with thirty-five men held the vidette line at Win- 
chester, Ya. That evening we were captured by the Confederates. Among my men cap> 
tand was a Fitzgerald. After we were paroled we were sent to Parole Camp near Alexan- 
dria. WhUe there we passed much of the time in strolling around among the camps of the 
new legiments arriying in the vicinity. One day Fitsgerald, myself and several other com- 
ndes cbanced to visit your camp. We all saw Boot there but not one of us said a word, 
did not even recognize him, excepting Fitzgerald. Boot pretended not to know him. This 
made Fitzgerald mad and he at once wrote to Lieutenant Hamilton. About the time the 
ietter reached the lieutenant your Seventh Bhode Island Begiment had arrived at Fred. 
erick, Md., and you know what then occurred. Upon his return Boot was kept in the 
goaid house until the regiment was ordered to the front, when he was returned to his 
company for duty. Three days previous to this Lieutenant Hamilton was' dishonorably 
dismissed the service and Boot> sentence revoked and he was pardoned. Boot remained 
in Company K, Fifth Connecticut, until the end of the war, and did yeoman service. He 
i^-enlisted as a veteran December 21, 1863, and was Anally mustered out July 22, 1865. He 
V3S a good soldier, never shirked duty or an engagement, was brave as the bravest and a 
good oomzade. I can say that there was not in my command or even in the whole regi- 
ment a better or braver man than Edward Boot I have not seen him since his discharge, 
vouW like to. 

Most truly yours, 

GBOBex M. BiOE, 
Jfefcyor. 

Friday, 3d. About noon a train of cars, long and short, flat and box, 
sufficient for a thousand men was backed up in front of the camp. The 
^ne was an upright affair with a crosshead patterned after old-time 
Bteamboata. There was no cab to shelter the engineer. It seemed incapable 
of raising steam enough to whistle, and yet it proved another illustration 
of the old adage, '^Looks are nothing, but behavior is everything." Details 
^m every company at once commenced loading the immense pile of 



20 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

baggage on the flats next the locomotive, while the others filled their can- 
teens, placed two days' rations (the first containing hard tack) in their 
hJBiversacks, rolled their blankets, formed line and impatiently awaited 
orders. Presently, under the superintendence of their officers, the men 
boarded the dingy cars and almost immediately crowded to their tops, 
for the day was fine and rare sightseeing expected. Ten minutes later 
there was a shriek from the iron horse, the cry "All aboard" passed from 
car to car through the entire train, another shriek from the locomotive, a 
cheer from the boys, and, with a twitch and a jerk, we were once more on 
the road. After a brief ride through a pleasaait country along the Mono- 
cacy we reached a junction and were switched ofif toward Harper's Perry. 
All along the route could be seen evidences of recent conflict, buildings 
knocked to pieces by shells and burned bridges, as well as remnants of 
cars and engines similarly destroyed scattered beside the track. At half 
past two the Potomac was reached at Point of Rocks where we were delayed 
two hours. For a time the boys were intensely excited, the more so because 
a railroad man told how a few days before the rebels blockaded the road 
for several hours at Bailmian's Rock, a large overhanging cliff ten miles 
from Harper's Ferry, by blowing its top down upon the road and into the 
canal. As nothing, however, eventuated, they finally lapsed into indifference, 
and languidly watched the turkey buzzards soaring above them in the dis- 
tant sky. All improved the opportunity to fill their canteens with the most 
delicious water tasted since leaving home, and some to chat with members 
of the regiment stationed here concerning the recent raid. At length the 
engine shrieked and then dashed spitefully forward whirling us over lofty 
trestles, through rocky defiles and across marshy stretches, the cars mean- 
while lurching from side to side, and bounding from rail to rail over the 
uneven track, jolting, bumping, swinging the men until it was clearly 
evident fortune, not skill, saved them from instant mangling. And all this 
was in the teeth of a stiff breeze that hurled showers of sharp cinders upon 
the occupants of the flats painfully cutting eyes and faces. We reached 
Sandy Hook, a little village in a long narrow valley nearly opposite 
Harper's Ferry, at sunset. Here we left the train, and, after hanging 
around impatiently until after dark, we marched back a short distance 
toward Enoxville to a convenient place for ascending the mountain side. 
After climbing the steep rough slope covered with huge boulders, projecting 
rocks, and huge stumps, to our anuazement we were halted and ordered to 
make ourselves comfortable for the night. As neither tents nor knapsacks 
were in evidence officers and men for once, at least, found themselves on 
equal footing. 



FROM THE POTOMAC TO THE RAPPAHANNOCK. 21 

Sunday, Sth. Still on the mountain side 200 feet above the Potomac 
and 700 telowed the battery-crowned crest There were to be seen fragments 
of military equipments, broken muskets, dead anbnried horses, even dead 
soldiers scantily buried (seven graves from the Seventh South Carolina 
B^ment), all thrilling mementos of Colonel Miles's ignoble surrender. 
'Mid such surroundings patriotic indignation filled every breast and 
martial fire flashed from every eye as it turned from Antietam's sleeping 
host and rested on that doubly accursed flag floating on Virginia's distant 
horizon. 

This morning the camp was badly mixed up. When the men retired 
for the night they found themselves obliged to brace themselves against 
some projection for security. When fallen asleep the restless ones lost 
their stabiliments and by degrees unconsciously slid down the slope until 
they lodged against a comrade or other obstacle. On waking officers and 
men alike found themselves looped around or astride a stump, or a stone, 
or piled against boulders, having slid off their blankets on which others had 
terminated their sleepy journey. Some during their involuntary descent 
reversed their position, their head or their shoulders instead of their feet 
being braoed against a support. Though most found strange bedfellows 
piled against them they good-naturedly accepted the situation and declared 
themselves well rested. 

Monday, 6th. Marched easterly a short distance and then northerly 
about two miles around the base of the mountain to Pleasant Valley, 
rightly named for its beautiful groves, murmuring streamlets, well culti- 
vated fields and neat farmhouses. Near one of its most quiet dells, and 
beside its prettiest rivulet, but in a field covered with wheat stubble, we 
were halted. The tents and knapsacks which had been left at Camp Chase 
a weA before now came to hand via the railroad ; the tents were at once 
pitched and floored with straw, affording accommodations luxurious in 
comparison with those enjoyed during the interval. On all sides were the 
regiments composing Burnside's Ninth Army Corps into which the Seventh 
was at once merged, forming with the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania, the 
Second Maryland, and the Sixth and Ninth New Hampshire the First 
Brigade, Gen. James Nagle's, of the Second Division, Oen. Samuel D. 
Stui^s'. 

Tuesday, 7th. Early this morning long rows of flashing bayonets were 
discerned on top of and pouring dovm the sides of the mountain. It was the 
Army of the Potomac that promptly filled the entire valley locating itself 
on all unoccupied territory. The readiness with which these veterans 
adi^)ted themselves to the situation and put up their shelter tents excited 



22 SEVENTH KHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

the curiosity of the new regiment, and set it to wondering if its campaign- 
ing should result similarly. A wonderful fraternity of spirit was at once 
manifested. Men who had never met before were acquaintances in ten 
minutes without introduction and intimate friends in fifteen. The mjem- 
bers of the older organizations gladly entertained those of the newer with 
tales of their alarms and adventures. 

At guard mount so many men were in line that veterans asked if that 
was the entire r^ment. During the day orders were issued that only 
dead trees should be used for camp fuel. The boys claimed that all trees 
are dead when cut down. Much time was spent in renovating personal 
clothing. In the afternoon the Seventh witnessed the annihilation of an 
army sutler's plant by a ferocious mob of alleged ofifended soldiers. The 
affair lasted but three or four minutes. 

Wednesday, 8th. First company drill since leaving Camp Chase. 

Thursday, 9th. The camp site proving undesirable it was moved 
northerly nearly a mile up the valley to a slightly sloping hillside at the 
base of the wooded eastern slope of Maryland Heights and designated 
Camp No. 2. Here several men were transferred to the artillery service. 

Sunday, 12th. This morning the first mail in more than two weeks 
arrived. Imagine the grumbling prior to its reception, the demonstrations 
at its distribution, and the varied feelings of that thousand men as each 
read the long wished for, the doubly welcome missives. Twenty additional 
rounds of cartridges were issued each man, increasing the total number to 
sixty. Late in the evening the camp was startled by an alarm of fire. A 
big blaze illumined Company A's section. William C. Durfee, who was 
a great reader, went to sleep with a paper in his hand. That took fire from 
a candle near his head and in turn set fire to the tent. The fiames soon 
woke him and he rushed out with singed hair; his comrades speedily 
smothered the flames. 

Monday, 13th. Up to this time the regiment had received neither 
national nor state colors and consequently was singularly conspicuous. As 
battalion drills were frequent Colonel Bliss solicited Company D's fla^ 
which was four feet by five and a half and was purchased at an expense of 
{2.65, contributed by some members of that comqpany while waiting in the 
cars at the Washington depot in Baltimore, Md., September 12th. It was 
nailed to a rake handle and ever after borne as the regimental colors. 
Sergt. Frederic Weigand, of Company K, was appointed bearer. The his- 
tory of the color guard will be found in a subsequent chapter. 

Friday, 17th. General Bumside visited us and shelter tents were 
issued. Immediately after the officers' tents were pitched at this camp a 




Gideon W. Carter. 
Corp. Robert Manning. 
SeriL Wm. R. Burgess. 
Corp. Emery J. Arnold. 



Sergt.JohnR. Whitford. 
Seigt. Benj. F. Miller. 
Sergt. John F. Trask. 
Corp. Lyman Whitcorab. 



Sergt. Henry Rol>erts. 
Sergt. Joseph S. Sweatt. 
Sergt. Alonzo L. Jenks. 
Sergt. J. Frank Makee. 



Lieut. Charles T. Healey. 
Edward F. Collins, 
lohn D. Brown. 
William Folsom. 



FROM THE POTOMAC TO THE RAPPAHANKOCK. 23 

drain wa« dug aronnd eax^h to intercept a possible flow of water into the 
interior. At some points, in place of a channel a ridge of earth waa 
thrown np against the canvas. Of course the spade left corresponding 
holes in the ground whence this was taken. A certain dark evening Major 
Babbitt was out testing the fidelity of the guard. CautiouiBlj approaching 
one in close proximity to a conspicuous tent the sentry promptly chal- 
lenged, ''Who goes there?" Simultaneously the major stumbled into a 
spade hole and ejaculated ''The Devil!" There was but one course to be 
pursued and that was promptly adopted, "Advance the Devil and give the 
countersign !" 

Monday, 20th. It has become evident that the sharing of common dan- 
gers and privations establishes more cordial relations between men than 
common occupations and pleasures. Comrades would do almost anything 
for sport or necessity, but though many were rude and rough if any became 
sick or were wounded they were melted into sympathy at once. The first 
death in the regimental camp was that of George W. Gardiner, of Company 
A, on the 18th, of pneumonia, and the second Gideon F. Collins of the same 
company on the 19th. Their personal friends at once bestirred themselves 
to secure suitable burial for their remains. Early this afternoon the entire 
regiment formed with side arms, and, headed by the brigade band (earlier 
the jSinth New Hampshire) , Prof. H. P. Hamblet, bandmaster, followed the 
bodies to their laBt resting place. The services consisted of a sermon, a 
prayer, the singing of "The Shining Shore" by a chorus and three volleys 
over the graves. These were at the foot and in the shadow of a majestic 
monntain between two wide spreading oaks, while a beautiful dogwood 
also extended its branches over the lowly mounds. 

Saturday, 25th. To-day the regiment was placed under marching 
orders. 

Sunday, 26th. Last night it commenced raining and continued at in- 
tervals, accompanied by high winds. With the coming dawn the water 
fell ceaselessly and the gale increased almost to a hurricane. People could 
barely maintain their feet. While some of the tents were new, others were 
old, rotten, and full of holes. The loose soil was water-soaked and fre- 
qnentiy failed to hold the tentpins. Our own shanty seemed doomed; it 
was nearly down several times. When we exposed ourselves to secure the 
flapping canvas the rain poured in streams down our necks. Finally, a 
great rent was torn in one side and water came in by the bucketful. The 
fact that others were in the same condition as ourselves afforded no con- 
solation. The storm continued with unrelenting severity during the night, 
leyeling many tents and driving their shivering occupants forth in search 



24 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

of new and stronger tentpins. It was not nntil nearly noon of the second 
day (Monday, 27th,) that the wind materially slackened and the rain 
ceased. 

Soon after sunshine had again gladdened the scene orders were giren 
to prepare to march at a moment's notice. All invalids were sent away, 
Lients. William Hill and Edward T. Allen being provided with temporary 
accommodations at a private residence with a Mrs. Drill. Two days' rations 
were served and had scarcely been stowed in the haversacks when the order 
'Tall in" was heard, and, right speedily, with knapsacks slung and mnskets 
at the right shoulder shift, the r^ment left its camp with the "A" tents 
standing. About one o'clock the Seventh for the first time to(* its place, 
which was at the rear, in the brigade column, and was soon moving diago- 
nally across the valley. Ere long a small creek was encountered which the 
men were ezi>ected to leap. Some failed to accomplish the task, thereby 
securing wet feet for themselves and some confusion to the ranks. Perhaps 
a mile farther on a lai^e stream crossed their way whose passage was 
attended with a corresponding increaase of discomfort and disturbance. 
Beyond this the troops struck a road alongside the Blue Ridge Mountains, 
and, after mlarching for an hour up hill and down, reached the track of the 
Baltimore and Ohio Bailroad near Weaverton, a village of about a dozen 
houses. Just past Enoxville the column was halted fifteen minutes for a 
rest, the heavy knapsack, four days' rations, canteen full of water, sixty 
rounds of ammunition and the musket, proved anything but an agreeable 
burden. On again easterly beside the railroad until half an hour later the 
column deviated to the right, crossed the railroad, descended a small hill, 
and, marching half an hour between the railroad and the Baltimore and 
Ohio Canal, came to another stream of water swollen by the previous heavy 
rains. This ran through an immense, long, stone arched culvert under the 
canal and plunged into the Potomac. Through this dark, dripping, 
dubious sluice the troops also must pass to reach the river's bank, although 
the mud and water was knee deep. On, still on, between the canal and 
the river for another hour, sometimes at the double-quick, a pace exceed- 
ingly annoying to the weak and the short-winded, until Berlin a small vil- 
lage near the railroad track was reached about five o'clock. A number of 
Foments of infantry with some cavalry and artillery were encamped in the 
vicinity, while countless army wagons contaning baggage, quarterma^iters' 
stores, etc., were waiting to cross to the enemy's country. Formerly a 
substantial bridge whose massive stone abutments and piers still remained 
impressive reminders of a recent Ck)nfederate raid spanned the stream at 
this point, but now two government pontoon bridges just above the ruins 



FROM THE POTOMAC TO THE RAPPAHANNOCK. 25 

met the demands alike of peace and war. No istop was permitted, but over 
the upper one the Seyenth passed at a double^uick, the distance being 
nearly half a mile. Then through mud and mire for two and a half miles, 
over a succession of hills until the country became quite elevated, when 
the geventh was turned to the right into a stubble field on the west slope of 
Loudoun Heights and halted. Muskets were stacked and knapsacks un- 
slung. Though but a trifie more than ten miles had been accomplished the 
men were considerably worried, a few being obliged to fall out who reached 
camp howev^ during the evening. Here they first grappled with the 
problem of the shelter tent, more popularly known in the east as the dog 
tent and in the west as the pup tent or as the peep tent, each term being 
alike significant. It consisted of two pieces of canvas buttoned to- 
gether and stretched over a pole resting on a couple of crotched sticks 
driven upright into the ground. The outer edges of the canvas were fastened 
to the ground with pegs. It was all roof and would accommodate but two 
persons. Its chief merits were that it diminished the quantity of baggage, 
VU8 quickly erected and afforded shelter from the dews of night and 
Tertical rains. In mild pleasant weather the mufSed vibrations of the 
canvas lulled the weary soldier to sleep ajs by a melodious tattoo, but when 
Old Boreas bellowed the fiappings were furious, and, in sheer disgust, the 
tent would frequently fly away, leaving the poor homeless, helpless fellows 
to shiver and curse in a driving rain or freezing atmosphere, enveloped 
p^haps in utter darkness. Of course it wajs never locked. A cord at- 
tached to each flap held it closed or permitted its opening. A spermaceti 
candle resting in the socket of a bayonet stuck in the ground afforded 
sulBcient light. Their sameness led to frequent mistakes by comrades 
when searching for the cover of their own blankets on their return from 
some social evening call. In many instances the error was not discovered 
until the late comer had nearly or quite gained the interior of a tent 
neighboring to his own, when, unexx)ectedly, a voice from within shouted : 
"Get off my feet!" "Who are you?" "What are you doing here?" etc. 
In the winter encampments they constituted the roof of a stockade or an 
ordinary log cabin as it chanced which housed a number of men. 

Tuesday, 28th. Was spent in rest and in the enjoyment of the 
beantiful scenery. The forest foliage sported its autumnal hues, and, 
though the setting sun crowned the mountain tops with wreaths of flame, 
the nearer hillsides were clothed in softer tints, strangely contrasting with 
the camping thousands and their trains in the vales. Farming here had 
proved exceedingly productive. 

Wednesday, 29th. A march of six miles toward the southwest, com- 



26 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

menced at four p. m., brought the brigade within a mile of the village of 
Lovettsvilla While moving down a Blight though long descent there was 
a sudden rattling explosion a few hundred yards ahead of us, hurling clouds 
of dust and smoke in every direction. Troops in the immediate vicinity 
scattered hastily. Stretchers and ambulances at once hurried forward to 
the scene. An artillery ammunition chest had blown up and injured 
several men. 

Thursday, 30th. Again not until four p. m. did we resume our march. 
After compassing five miles a halt was ordered near Bolington, a post 
village. Lovettsville, through which we passed, contained about a score of 
dwellings with ancient windows and gables, huge outside .chimneys and 
fences at the extreme of dilapidation. Some days after leaving Pleasant 
Valley, small trees laden with a fruit resemblng the crab apple were 
observed. Passing one the men hurriedly clubbed off some, and, without 
sampling, stowed them in their pockets and haversacks. Not until they 
tasted had they any conception of the puckering nature of a green per- 
simmon. Never again did they gather any unripe, but later when the 
frosts had touched them they were delicious and much sought after. 

Friday, 31st. Another five-mile tramp terminated near Wheatland 
where there was a post office and some half dozen dwellings. The column 
halted where the road ran along the crest of a ridge. The Seventh filed 
to the left into a field filled with wheat stubble, wheeled into columns of 
companies, stacked arms and pitched tents. The r^ment was mustered 
for two months' pay. 

NOVBMBBR^ 1862. 

Saturday, 1st. The field wherein we camped had a southern exposure 
sloping away two or three hundred yards to a boggy meadow, beyond which 
was a good stream of water. The farther slope was thickly covered with 
beech and hickory trees. Beneath these a drove of swine was industriously 
gathering a livelihood, turning the soil and wallowing in the pools of 
muddy water. The animals quickly attracted the attention of the soldiers ; 
they were viewed with covetousness and calculation. There was a surpris- 
ing supply of choice fresh pork at supper, and many haversacks unquestion- 
ably contained an ample reserve ration. 

Sunday, 2d. The brigade entered early on the longest day's march the 
Seventh had undertaken. At first it was headed toward Snicker's Gap, 
but soon cannonading, in the direction of Uniontown, induced a change in 
our course and we hastened toward the scene of action. While the pre- 
ceding night had been uncomfortably cold, the day though beautiful was 
almost too warm for the burdened soldiers. John Horan, of Company £, 



FROM THE POTOMAC TO THE RAPPAHANNOCK. 27 

was a member of the pioneer corps, each of whom in addition to his regular 
load had to carry an axe, a pick or a spade. Now Horan carried a spade, 
and^ as he was. rather fleshy, became consid€)rably heated. While the 
perspiration was streaming down his face he remarked to Captain Tobey, 
''The shovel is breaking me heart and I must leave it." When camping 
ground near Uniontown was reached it was gone. Onr route had passed 
through Bnssellville. At length, on the farm of an enthusiastio Beoession* 
ist named Thomas Fred and without pitching tents the weary men, wrapped 
in their blankets, laid themselves down to rest with thdr muskets in their 
arms, closed their eyes and at once were in the land of Nod. 

Monday, 3d. This morning it was learned that our cavalry with 
trifling loss had compelled the rebels to retire beyond Uniontown. Early 
in the afternoon we moved forward toward Bloomfleld through which we 
passed, and, when seven miles were accomplished, bivouacked in a meadow 
on the right of the road near a substantial looking farmhouse. The 
fertile r^ons of Loudoun County had been exchanged for the barren des- 
olation of Fauquier. 

Tuesday, 4th. When ail were sleeping soundly despite the coldness of 
the night, snugly wrapped in blankets and overcoats, just after midnight, 
firing was heard on the picket line. Instantly there was the wildest com- 
motion. The men were called up with the cry, ''Arouse ! Seize your muskets 
and fall into line!" Startled though they were they sprang promptly into 
their places, loaded their muskets and waited developniients. Ab no more 
firing was heard the excitement slowly subsided and finally all were ordered 
to bed again. In the morning it appeared that our pickets had been at- 
tacked. Five miles brought us to the vicinity of UpperviUe where we had 
expected an engagement, but the Confederates under General Hill had 
retired. Camped for the night on the farm of a Mr. Shelley. 

Wednesday, 5th. UpperviUe consisted of a single street nearly a mile 
in length adorned with a church or two, as many public buildings of impos- 
ing architecture and seven or eight stores. The outside covering of a 
majority of these was indeed a curiosity to the Tanks. It was laths and 
plaster. But the plastering had fallen off in many places because of age 
and the uncovered spots consequently looked like so many islands in an 
inland sea. When nearly through we were halted to permit two or three 
regiments of cavalry and as many batteries to pass forward. The men 
moved to each side of the road, unslung knapsacks and rested. After a 
half hour's delay we moved along the Winchester and Leesburg turnpike 
until within three miles or so of Piedmont and then digressed to the left 
leaving Leesburg on the right. All were very weary, but there was little 



28 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

lagging. This march of nine milee brought the regiment to the Manaiasas 
Gap Railroad which it crossed near Piedmont Station, twelve miles from 
Manassas Oap. It encamped near the station. 

Thursday, 6th. A long tedious miarch of fifteen miles through a hilly 
wooded r^on leaving Snicker's, Ashby's and Manassas Gaps to the right 
and Bull Bun and Manassas Junction to the left. It was not until after 
dark that orders were given to stop for the night on a desolate waste near 
Orleans Village. By the way, though the dwellings in the towns and 
villages were generally old and dilapidated, ever and anon were passed on 
the march noble m'ansions whose tasteful environments evinced the culture 
and the refinement of their owners, the wealthy planters whose love for 
the ^^peculiar institution'' exceeding that of country secured alike the 
devastation and the dismemberment of their state. 

Friday, 7th. About five p. m. camp was broken in a cold northeast 
snowstorm. When passing through Orleans we met General Burnside, 
who with uncovered head graciously responded to the enthusiastic cheers 
that followed his progress down the entire column. From this village the 
march was continued southerly until it was discovered that the brigade was 
three miles out of its proper course. The last two miles were retraced and 
another road taken upon which nine miles were covered, mostly in 
darkness and through slush and snow. The entire brigade was filed into 
a piece of woods. Some of the trees and all the rail fences in the neighbor- 
hood prom^ptly contributed to the support of rousing campfires, beside 
which chilled bodies were warmed and hot suppers prepared. 

The comments of the men concerning their superiors were neither few 
nor complimentary. No little wonder was expressed that it seemed neces- 
sary to give the weary soldiers lessons in night marching spiced ^rith 
countermarching. Later it was clearly evident that half the officers fre- 
quently lost themselves despite careful study of the maps of the period, 
their commands bringing up at all sorts of places other than that from 
which their instructions indicated their arrival should be reported. Most 
of the Virginia roads were miserably poor, mere openings through woods. 
Few streams were supplied with bridges. It was said the people divided 
off their miles with coon skins, throwing in the tails for good measure. The 
truth of this we cannot affirm, but we do know their miles were monstrously 
long to wayworn infantrymen. The statement is presumably correct, for 
none of the natives ever dreamed of determining space by the standard of 
miles. In upper Virgnia the staggering but respectful response to an inter- 
rogatory as to how far it was to some advance point on our route was the in- 
variable assurance by the white population that it was, "A right smart 



FROM THE POTOMAC TO THE RAPPAHANNOCK. 29 

distance I reckon!" and by the colored contingent, ''A heap o' waye!" 
Approaching Fredericksburg another system of mensuration was found to 
be in wogfoe. There the reply was, "So many sights ahead," i, e., the number 
of successive prominent intervening positions for observation. 

Saturday, 8th. 8oon after daylight a two-mile march was quickly com- 
pleted and camp established in woods on the left of the road near Cliffs' 
)fill8, not far from the village of Waterloo, and three miles from the 
Rappahannock. Ov^ this a pontoon bridge was in process of construction, 
the rebels having recently burned the permanent structure. Directly oppo- 
site and sheltered on three sides by heavy timber was a stone steepleless 
ebnrch of ancient architecture. By this time most of the Seventh had be- 
come expert cooks. As soon as our brigade of five thousand men was 
halted for camping and the ranks broken, every man seemed to be an active 
member of a well drilled ''Rail Brigade." There was an instantaneous and 
simnltaneous rush for the fences usually lining the road. They disappeared 
in the twinkling of an eye from both sides for nearly three-quarters of a 
mile, and, soon were to be seen in every direction, brightly blazing camp- 
fires exhaling the delightfully suggestive aromas of coffee and beef. 

Sunday, 9th. To-day the rumor quickly spread that QeneraJ McGlellan 
was yesterday relieved of the command of the Army of Potomac and that 
General Bumside had been appointed to succeed him; also that the latter 
had at the su^estion of President Lincoln requested that divine service 
be held in each re^ment at ten a. m. At that hour the Seventh was 
marched to a neighboring clearing, where, seated on the coarse wild grass, 
it listened to a prayer by Lieutenant Morton and an impressive sermon by 
Chaplain Harris Howard, from Psalms, xx. 5 : ^'In the name of our God 
we will set up our banners." It may appropriately be noted here that the 
President's general order respecting the observance of the Sabbath in the 
army and navy was dated November 16th. In the afternoon the brigade 
pnshed hastily forward across the North Fork of the Rappahannock, where 
it runs through a mountain gorge on the confines of Fauquier and Culpepper 
connties to Amissville, five miles distant. 

Monday, 10th. Early this morning heavy cannonading was heard close 
at hand and almost simultaneously the long roll. The men hurriedly 
packed and formed in line of battle with good prospects of an engagement. 
We marched through the village, countermarched and manoeuvred through 
several fields on the right of the road and advanced toward the enemy who 
retreated, keeping just beyond musket range. The woods in our front 
were fired by order of General Sturgis. We bivouacked in the farther 
field. Our forces consisted of one brigade of infantry, two batteries, and a 



30 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

portion of General Pleasanton's cavalry; the rebel; of two brigades of 
infantry under Stuart and Hampton and a battery. Jost as the Seventh 
was leaving the village road and entering the first field it halted for a few 
moments by a two-story dwelling, at one of whose upper windows an aged 
woman appeared who anxiously inquired if the soldiers were "going to fit 
here." "Yes," was the prompt reply. "What, right here?" she continued. 
"Just here," said one of the boys. "Oh dear, no, no, you must not, you 
cannot fit here, you must move away," and the old lady became exceedingly 
agitated. The boys then told her that they would move farther off just to 
accommodate her, but still she could not overcome her fright. Just as we 
moved away she rushed wildly from the house with a fifteen-year-old 
daughter, but a little later they were observed quietly returning their fears 
having been allayed by some officers. 

It was not uncommon to meet a colored family with two consecutive 
children named Abraham Lincoln. In some all the names likely to be 
needed were bestowed upon the first arrival, and, when the second occurred, 
the former divided with the latter and so on, whether the number was a 
few or many without adding anything new to the family record. I once 
heard George Washington, Alec Stevens, Fred Douglass, Jeff Davis, Andrew 
Jackson, and Abe Lincoln admonished by their mother with confusing vigor, 
to "Come here! Them Yankees will carry you off and eat you !" 

The habitations of the slaves were rough-hewn log cabins, never more 
than one story high, and containing but a single room. Logs also formed 
at once its ceiling and the floor of the loft. Accession thereto was by a 
rudely constructed ladder attached to a hatchway cut therein. 'The door- 
way was so low a tall man was obliged to stoop to enter. Sometimes 
they were set on four cypress blocks two or three feet from the ground, 
otherwise there was no floor but the earth. The chimney was outside. 

Tuesday, 11th. Unexpectedly we remained in camp. The excitement 
was intense. Each regiment in turn fired the charges in its muskets at 
targets two hundred yards distant. 

Wednesday, 12th. Rations were issued very early as the raiment left 
camp about six a. m. passing Glendale, recrossing the North Fork of the 
Rappahannock and retracing its steps toward Waterloo. When seven miles 
had been completed the brigade halted for a few hours near the balance of 
the Ninth Corps, which were encamped in a spacious valley and its adjoin- 
ing hillsides. After the men had become thoroughly rested we again moved 
on, and, at seven p. m., camped in some woods five miles from the Warrenton 
White Sulphur Springs, a noted watering place. Most of the buildings had 
been destroyed by General SigePs troops during an engagement while pass- 



FROM THE POTOMAC TO THE RAPPAHANNOCK. 31 

log through the place in August last. To-day the rebel cavalry made a dash 
upon the Union lines, scarcely a mile from and in plain sight of our camp 
ground. A few cavalrymen were captured with Lieut-Col. Sumner Gar- 
ruth and Adjutant Wales of the Thirty-fifth Massachusetts. These officers 
did not return to their regiment until the following spring. Five of our 
companies were detailed for picket duty. 

Thursday, 13th. Rations are very scant. Meat was exhausted two 
days ago, but a meagre supply has just come to hand. A lively artillery 
duel afforded us the first opportunity of seeing the elongated shells of the 
Confederates (railroad iron so-called), bowl along end over end Bttet once 
striking the ground. 

Friday, 14th. Some Seventh men were detailed for picket duty at the 
ford under command of Captain Carr, Company I. A large force of rebels 
is known to be in the vicinity and a fight is confidently expected. 

Saturday, 15th. Rations were issued early this morning. Anothw 
detail was sent out consisting of Company C, Captain Church, and Company 
D. Lieutenant Joyce, to guard a bridge, while the brigade and its trains 
were passing. About four p. m. yesterday Captain Carr was ordered to 
report to the colonel of a Massachusetts r^ment (probably theThirty-fifth), 
who was guarding two hills about a mile above the ford. He feared he 
could not hold them, as his major and some men had been captured by the 
enemy. B^ond those hills the opposing forces had been skirmishing all 
day. Company I, therefore, remained on the hills all night. This mom- 
iDg just as Captain Carr and his men had returned and were dividing 
rations that had been left for their use on the hither side of the bridge, 
a detachment of " Jeb" Stuart's cavalry supported by Lane's battery made 
a dash on Companies C and D on the farther side of the stream, evidently 
intending not only to secure the guard, but the bridge and a good section 
of our supply trains. Lieutenant Joyce who chanced to hold the outermost 
posts, quickly formed a skirmish line, and, in the face of an overwhelmingly 
superior force gallantly contested every foot of ground that intervened 
between his position and the bridge. The rebel cavalry pressed hard and 
two pieces of our artillery opened just as they reached the bank, yet, perfect 
order was maintained. Safely across all sought shelter in the bank and pro- 
ceeded to return more emphatically their compliments to the enemy, empty- 
ing a number of saddles. Captain Carr's command at this juncture 
afforded valuable assistance in repelling the intruders. Failing to capture 
or injure any of the party, the two twenty pounders and a piece of smaller 
caliber opened on our division wagon train then passing in their full view, 
tiie troops having gone on ahead. They served their guns with rare pre- 



32 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

oision, nearly every shell bursting in the train or among the batteries 
(Dureirs Pennsylvania and Roemer's New York) that had been ordered 
back to engage them. Though they responded vigorously no impression 
was made, because their pieces were lighter than those opposed to 
them, until Lieutenant Benjamin's r^ular battery of twenty pounder 
Parrots was put in position when the rebel light gun was immediately 
withdrawn, but the heavier pieces continued their work half an hour longer. 
Meanwhile the Fifty-flrst New York and the Twenty-first Massachusetts were 
ordered to the support of the batteries, while the Thirty-fifth Massachusetts 
was serving as train guard. When the rebels finally quieted down all 
joined the moving column. The detail that gallantly defended the ford did 
not rejoin the regiment until mid-afternoon. We encamped that night at 
Fayetteville. 

Sunday, 16th. Soon after nine we were again on the road and marched 
twelve miles camping in a briar field thickly grown with tall weeds and 
diversified by innumerable gullies near to Bienville and not far from War- 
renton Junction. Naturally the men developed a tendency to luxuriate. 
A straggler is supposed to be a man who falls behind his r^ment on a 
march, but there were many who slipped out of the column and forged 
ahead to forage. These were termed "bummers." They visited all scattered 
farmhouses and cabins in the vicinity of the road. On their approach flocks 
of fowl could usually be seen running with flapping wings, screaming, 
cackling toward places of refuge. Some attained safe hiding places, more 
did not. One pleasant day when in the vicinity of Warrenton and the 
Seventh chanced to be at the head of the column, we halted in front of a 
farmhouse whose owner waa reported to be very enthusiastic whenever 
Confederate successes were announced. A row of currant bushes flanked 
the driveway from the road and nearly hid from view a cluster of well 
filled beehives fronting the meadow at one end of the house. Several men 
that appeared immediately to comprehend the situation climbed the road 
fence, approached the hives, and, placing each his back against a hive, 
reached with each hand backward over his shoulders, seized it, and, lifting 
it from the bench, started on a run with it toward the road, the bees 
streaming from its bottom. Arriving at the fence each at one stoop tossed 
the hive over his head and the fence to the roadside, where it was smashed 
to pieces. Now bees are an uncommonly warlike race. This disturbance 
of their hives raised the very mischief with these fierce and vengeful insects. 
Out they poured with wings all tense and daggers poisoned; first a swarm 
and then a cloud, buzzing, singing, stinging in the hair and on the face, in 
front, in the rear, and on the flank. The men ru^ed ludicrously hither and 



FROM THE POTOMAC TO THE RAPPAHANNOCK. 33 

thith». Everywhere the mimic battle went on. They tried in Tain to elude 
the torturing beasts. The line was getting badly mixed while the bees 
were reinforced every minute. The officers could only laugh immoderately 
and shout the command to ^Tall in !" which was tardily heeded. An endless 
amonnt of merriment was supplied all spectators. Of course those cc»&- 
rades near the hived when they struck the ground had the first and best 
chance to help themselves. During the remainder of the day some might 
have been seen carrying a piece of hive to which a generous supply of 
honey adhered, which frequently dripped from the edge of the board upon 
their clothing, there to be durably cemented by the flying clouds of dust. 

Monday, 17th. This morning all the sick were returned to Washington 
hospitals. The weather was misty. Fifteen miles were covered during 
the day. One frosty morning the entire army seemed to be in motion. The 
wagons and artillery occupied the road while the infantry marohed in 
parallel columns on each side through fields of thick wild grass. When 
halted for a rest the men dropped on the grass and reclined on their knap- 
sacks. Near the rear of the column a full grown rabbit was frightened 
from his hole. Within the double row of prostrate forms the startled 
creature bounded in long leaps toward the head of the column gazing wildly 
out of his great bulging eyes. For a moment there was intense excitement. 
Everything within reach of the men was hurled at the harmless and terrified 
animal, but none hit it. Toward the right of the column the men arose 
and closed in on him until he could go no farther. Then with a bound to 
the right he plunged into a group of officers and hid in the folds of their 
overcoats. It is needless to mention his ultimate fate. 

Tuesday, 18th. The r^ment marched eighteen miles in a heavy rain- 
storm and encamped at Hartwood Settlement. Men with clothing thor- 
oughly water-soaked, horses and mules alike waded, climbed and floundered 
in the mud. Many lay sick by the roadside, too weary to maintain the com- 
panionship of friends. 

Late in the afternoon I began to feel too lame and jaded to con- 
tinue in the ranks and accordingly fell out Soon after I came across Ck>m- 
rade Henry Sprague and later Comrade Fuller. It is not known whether 
this was his family or given name. We were fortunate enough to discover 
a log hut in the forest near the roadside, but invisible from it. There we 
abode that night separated by less than a mile from the regiment. Com- 
rade Fuller said he never expected to see it again and he did not. 

Wednesday, 19th. The storm continues with unrelenting severity. 
The regiment marched seven miles in mud and water passing through Fal- 
mouth an old straggling village of a score of houses, two or three stores 

3 



34 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

and twK) flour mills. It camped directly opposite Fredericksburg abreast 
of and one-half mile distant from the Lacy House, which was situated on 
the north bank of the river. Comrade Sprague and myself decided not to 
venture out in the storm, though we possessed not a single mouthful of 
food. Strange to say we were not annoyed by a single straggler or camp 
follower. Through numerous openings between the logs we watched the 
marching columns and the wagon trains struggling past In the morning 
we heard the bugles and the drums of the advanced corps, and at eventide 
saw the reflected light of their campflres, so we determined the ensuing 
morning we would endeavor to overtake the regiment. 

Thursday, 20th. The regiment remained in quarters. Nothing but 
mud, mud everywhere; most uncomfortable for those on duty. The future 
seems very uncertain. After leaving Pleasant Valley the Seventh on its 
journey to Fredericksburg marched a calculated distance of one hundred 
and seventy-three miles over hill and dale, mountain and meadow; through 
ravines, valleys, gorges and extensive forests; across brooks, ditches, shal- 
low rivers and broken bridges; in fact, roughed it through heat and cold, 
fair weather and foul, with plenty of food at times and then suffering for 
want of it 

This morning Comrade Sprague and myself started to join the regiment 
but after passing yesterday's camping place for the army concluded to 
bivouac for the night; it was impossible to travel. Dead horses and mules 
strewed the way; the fences were gone. At Falmouth we obtained our 
first view of Fredericksburg. It seemed deserted. We could hear the 
church clock strike the hours regularly. Bebel pickets lined one bank of 
the Rappahannock and ours the other. Oreybacks could be discerned 
lounging in the distant streets, but they manifested less curiosity about us 
than we did toward them. The smoke of campflres scattered over the 
country beyond the city indicated a large force of Lee's soldiery was close 
at hand. The bank of the river was a favorite spot for those desirous in 
either army to approach within speaking distance and exchange remarks, 
frequently of an uncomplimentary character. The Secesh invariably ex- 
pressed an anxiety to get northern papers in exchange for Richmond publi- 
cations. One reb in a blue coat surprised his Yankee neighbors when he 
inquired where his commissary and his quartermaster were now (referring 
to Generals Pope and McDowell). Some witty remarks were made on both 
sides ending in blackguarding. 



CHAPTER IIL 

Fredebicksburg. 
NoYBMBBB 21, 1862— Febbuabt 8, 1863. 

FRIDAY, 2l8t. The miniature deluge from which the Army of the Poto- 
mac has suffered since Monday is ceased. Lieutenant-Colonel 
Sayles has been sent with three hundred men to the river bank for 
picket duty. Ck>mrade Sprague and myself slowly continue our efforts to 
regain the r^ment stopping for the night at a picket post on the road to 
Falmouth. 

Saturday, 22d. Gamp was moved back across the railroad and bejrond 
the Phillips House to a grove of pines sloping toward the south. This 
prored to be the permanent home of the Seventh so long as it remained in 
the vicinage. It was promptly christened by the men '^Gamp Mud," for 
that was the only appropriate designation of the place. The surface of the 
ground was a mass of yellow porridge and so remained, the consistency vary- 
ing but slightly according to the weather. Shelter tents were spread at first 
iB the usual fashion, but, as days rolled by, one man after another 
endeavored to render his abiding place more commodious by digging away 
beneath the canvas, placing a log frame on the ground around the excava- 
tiott, piling thereon other logs roughly joined (for occupancy was regarded 
as merely temporary), and, finally, roofing with their tents. The removed 
soil was piled against the walls outside. Wise ones gathered leaves, pine 
needles, and hemlock boughs, and strew^ed them in the bottom of the pit, 
thereon spreading their rubber blankets, thus securing the best available 
protection against dampness. The inexperienced found that during heavy 
atorma the water would trickle through the crumbling clay from a hundred 
tiny crevices, and, slowly but surely, submerge their resting places. Neither, 
however, again introduced the cellar feature into their winter quarters. 

The general arrangement of ''Camp Mud" was as follows : The tents 
of the field and staff officers were in line along the crest of the ridge (on the 
northern slope of which was encamped the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania) and 
at right angles to a wagon road. Next were the line officers' tents, each 



36 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

opposite the head of a company street. This was flanked on either side 
by a row of the men's quarters belonging thereto, Company C being on 
the right or the west side of the camp next to the road, and Company B on 
the left or at the east side. D was the junior company, so its position was 
the seventh from the right. The streets extended down the slope to the 
border of the parade ground which was about one hundred and twenty-five 
yards wide. On the farther side of this was a small creek that skirted the 
east side of the camp and parade ground, but turning westerly formed ltd 
southern boundary. Crossing the road it entered a large ravine wherein the 
army balloon camp was located, and, afterward, turning again to the south, 
emptied into the Rappahannock. The camp ground was fairly smooth with 
the exception of Company D's street, in the lower half of which was a 
gully that extended out to the border of the parade ground. On the right 
of this gully was the commissary's quarters, back of which and more to the 
right was the quartermaster's, both facing obliquely to the left. Opposite 
the former on the left bank of the washout was Company D's cookhouse, 
whence George C. Beckford regularly shouted, "Company D, fall in for your 
salt horse, pea soup, beans, rice and tea or coffee!" as the occasion required. 
Drinking water was obtained from a headless barrel sunk in the ground at 
the apparent source of the aforementioned creek, a spring at the northeast 
corner of the camp and at the foot of a steep slope. Bathing water was 
procured from the stream, and morning ablutions were performed with 
quite varying degrees of faithfulness. On frosty mornings the men would 
stamp holes in the ice, and, stooping over, wash in the openings. 

To-day a bulky mail reached camp. It contained a commission for 
John R. Stanhope, Jr., bb quartermaster. Three days later Dean S. Linnell, 
of the Tenth Regiment, who had been acting in that capacity since June 1, 
1862, returned home. 

This evening Comrade Sprague and myself reached Falmouth and ob- 
tained a scant supper of turnip-tops and wheat-bread at a slave cabin in 
the village. Later we reported at the provost marshal's oflflce, and by him 
were assigned one comer of a room on the second floor reached by an outside 
flight of stairs. This was a dry sleeping place, but our garments were 
thoroughly water-soaked and we had a score of other stragglers as room- 
mates. 

Sunday, 23d. This morning the provost marshal kindly directed us as 
accurately bb possible to our regimental camp, which was nearly two miles 
distant. We arrived in due time and w«*e conducted by our company com- 
manders to Colonel Bliss for examination. By him we were ordered back 
to duty. Brigade inspection was held. 



FREDERICKSBURG. 37 

Monday, 24th. This is the first pleasant day we have enjoyed for a 
long time. Morning company drills and evening dress parades were 
renewed. Joseph A. Eenyon, of Company A, died in camp of typhoid fever. 
The funeral occurred next day (25th,) at three p. m. The burial was in a 
grove of pines. The regiment attended forming in column of divisions closed 
en masse beside the grave, the chaplain read Psalms xix., offered prayer, and 
preached a brief discourse. Three volleys over the closed grave terminated 
the sad rites. Towtard night Company B started for picket duty at the 
rlTer bank two miles distant. The route wajs devious and narrow, full of 
gnllies. Its station was reached about eight o'clock. A huge fire was burn- 
ing at each post. On the opposite bank of the stream similar lights were 
noticed. Bain soon commenced to fall and continued until seven next 
morning (26th). There was no opportunity for rest, so the men gathered 
from the burning logs such comfort as they could. At the appropriate time 
Company G relieved them. 

Thursday, 27th. Thanksgiving day, but even a Cape Cod turkey was 
miattainable. 

Friday, 28th. Division drill this afternoon. Lieut. Joseph W. Mor- 
ton, of Company A, resigned because of ill-health. He was highly esteemed. 

Saturday, 29th. Josephus Franklin, of Company I, from Bristol, died 
of typhoid fever. His remains were deposited next day beside those (>f 
Comrade Eenyon. 

Dbcbmber^ 1862. 

Tuesday, 2d. At dress parade the adjutant read a general order con- 
gratnlating both the old and the new troops on the efficiency they have dis- 
played during the last month's fatiguing marches, at an inclement season 
of the year and sometimes on short rations. 

Saturday, 6th. Just after ten o'clock it began to rain, but soon the 
weather became colder and the vapor changed to snow, which continued 
to fall during the night accompanied by high winds. Wet and cold from 
the storm the men wrapped in blankets sat like Choctaws around the fires, 
which, though sickly looking, were luxuries to benumbed fingers and toes. 
Next morning (7th,) the weather was intensely cold. 

Monday, 8th. Orders were issued for one and all to erect log huts. 
An insufficient supply of shoes and clothing increased the hardships. Some 
were excused from duty for lack of raiment. Because of the non-appear- 
ance of the paymaster considerable uneasiness was manifested by those 
anxious to aid loved ones at home. 

Tuesday, 9th. Just after noon it was reported that three days' cooked 



38 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

rations were to be inunediately prepared, and that the regiment must be in 
readiness to march at eight o'clock to-morrow morning. 

Wednesday, 10th. During the afternoon while many were busy erecting 
huts, all were gladdened by the arrival of the Twelfth Rhode Island which we 
soon learned was to be brigaded with us. There were cordial greetings of 
old friends and solicitous inquiries concerning those at home. The Twelfth 
pitched its tents directly across the creek east from the Seventh and hut 
building was discontinued. At dress parade the chaplain prayed that the 
men might be enabled to keep their guns clean and ready and their powder 
dry. In the midst of the service General Burnside, accompained by two 
aides, rode up. They halted and uncovered until the service was concluded, 
when he saluted and passed on. ^ 

In 1860 the population of Fredericksburg was 5,022. The city was 
regularly and compactly built. Its chief public buildings were the court- 
house, jail, market house, orphan asylum, five churches of diflPerent denomi- 
nations, two banks, and two seminaries. On Dec. 10, 1862, it was held 
by rebel troops under the general command of Robert E. Lee, as was also 
a ridge of hills esdiending from above the Falmouth Ford and behind the 
town to the Massaponax River five miles below. The plain at their base is 
narrow at the upper end of the town, but as it approaches the river it 
increases to two and a half miles in width. It lies on the west bank of the 
Rappahannock and is not elevated many feet above it. On the east bank of 
the Rappahannock, the ridge which crosses the river at Falmouth dam forms 
a high and broken country. Directly opposite the city is a plateau one- 
quarter of a mile wide and from thirty to fifty feet above the river. Back 
of this the ground rises again from thirty to one hundred feet, either into a 
ridge or a second plateau called Stafford Heights, which is far above the 
roofs of the highest buildings in the city. Here stood a conspicuous spacious 
gothic mansion, the Phillips House, the headquarters of Gen. Edwin V. 
Sumner, while opposite the centre of the town and near the river but at 
the top of the first terrace, was the Lacy House. Along this bank and in 
suitable commanding positions 147 guns were in position. 

Thursday, 11th. The morning was cloudy and dull. A thin layer of 
snow covered the ground. About five o'clock two heavy signal guns were 
heard quickly repeated. Instantly followed the roar of the assembled bat- 
teries as they opened upon the devoted town. The sharp reports of the pieces 
and of the exploding shells as they echoed and re-echoed through the con- 
fined valley increased the volume of sound, until, at length, it seemed ajs if 
indeed, heaven and earth were literally crashing together. Our brigade 
marched to the heights opposite and overlooking the city and was drawn 



FREDEBICKSBURG. 39 

up in line of battle. The quaint old town was invisible save two church 
spires that pierced the fog. The whirring sound of the hurtling iron as it 
rasped the shivmng air could now be distinctly heard above the resounding 
thunders. The rebels paid little attention to the bombardment, for their 
riflemen well protected in cellars, could pick off the pontoniers at their 
pleasure. Barksdale's Seventeenth Mississippians and the Eight Florida 
were they who resisted the construction of this the upper pontoon bridge. 
About midday the mist lifted, revealing numerous fires raging in various 
parts of the city; here dense volumes of smoke rose and spread, covering 
the place with shadowy darkness; there the lurid glare of devouring flame 
burst forth ; elsewhere crumbling walls and charred timbers showed destruc- 
tion fully accomplished. Two noble churches stood like ancient martyrs 
with the encircling blaze drawing nearer and yet nearer. When a second 
effort was made to complete the upper pontoon bridge just above the stone 
piers of the old permanent structure, a number of guns were turned directly 
toward the adjacent portion of the city, and, during the second shelling, 
new fires were enkindled beneath the hostile sheltering roofs. Then it was 
that the Seventh Michigan and certain volunteers distinguished themselves 
by crossing the river in pontoon boats under a shower of bullets and jaised 
the Stars and Stripes upon a house that had been the chief shield of the 
rebel riflemen. Bev. Arthur B. Fuller, chaplain of the Sixteenth Massachu- 
setts, was one of the slain, being one of the foremost of the skirmishers to 
enter the streets of the city. The Fifth Connecticut also lost a number of 
men while constructing the bridge. When completed two or three regi- 
ments passed over, and, after a sharp contest, drove the enemy back upon 
their entrenchments. Just before sunset a terriflc explosion occurred, suc- 
ceeded by a huge column of smoke, which, half-illumined with red and golden 
rays, simulated a vast conflagration. Upon this ever changing panorama did 
the Seventh gaze the entire day. At night they were ordered back to camp 
with instructions to be in readiness to march next morning. The remaining 
residents of Fredericksburg upon the opening of the bombardment fled to 
a thick forest in rear of the Confederate lines, where a large overhanging 
Pock is now pointed out to visitors as their hospitable shelter. Near mid- 
aight every man was ordered to fall in at once. Each promptly obeyed. As 
soon as regimental formation had been attained the command was marched 
to the snmmit of the hill near the Phillips House, whence, after a brief halt, 
it returned to camp and was dismissed. This movement was understood to 
be a test on the part of Colonel Bliss to ascertain how soon he could form 
line in case of emergency. 

Friday, 12th. At breakfast a liberal ration of whiskey was issued, 



40 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

which some of the men ignored, consequently those who desired the stimu- 
lant had an oversupply varying from one to a dozen. By nine o'clock the 
Seventh was on its way to the river, passing the Phillips House and crossing 
the foot of the large ravine through which ran the army railroad at the army 
depot. It was soon in the vicinity of the Lacy House, whence its pathway 
led through a shallow ravine to the two upper pontoon bridges not far from 
its mouth. Another upper crossing place was equipped with a single bridge, 
while Franklin's or the lower crossing had three bridges. The nearer the 
regiment approached its bridge the slower and more irregular was its pro- 
gress. On reaching the river bank we were anxiously surprised to see the 
open bank covered with a continuous column of troops that extended far 
back upon the plateau, carelessly ignoring the abundant friendly shelter 
of the ravines. Rebel artillerists on Marye's Heights had quickly noted the 
massing of the Unionists and commenced hurling shells in their direction, 
but most of the projectiles fell short, some plunging into the river between 
the boats. Just as the Twelfth New Hampshire, a comparatively new or- 
ganization, headed by a fine band playing "Bully for You" and occupying 
the right of the next brigade to our own in which we held the corresponding 
position, had commenced the descent of the slope, a long shrill whistle was 
heard high over our heads. It was recognized as something extraordinary, 
and instinctively all eyes were turned to the hill in dread anticipation of its 
effect. Exclamations of horror arose on every hand as the missile was seen 
to strike and explode in the midst of the band, while the cheers of the suc- 
cessful cannoneers could be distinctly heard. The neighboring files 
hurriedly scattered leaving a number of dead and wounded on the ground. 
Col. William M. Owen who at the time was a lieutenant in the Washington 
Artillery of New! Orleans, writes that he cannot tell positively who fired 
the shot that disturbed the crossing at Fredericksburg, but thinks that it 
was the First Company of the Washington Artillery that had recently 
become possessed of a new Whitworth rifled piece, of which one Spearing 
was gunner. 

Having safely crossed the stream we marched up the sloping levee, 
and, turning to the left, halted and lined up on Caroline Street, the first 
parallel to the river. Beyond us were observed side streets perpendicular 
thereto and extending to the open country beyond. Some of these had been 
barricaded. The men viewed with interest the surrounding wreckage. In 
some houses the ground floor had been crushed into the cellar, the chamber 
floor driven into the roof, one side of a room perhaps blown into the yard 
or street, all by the explosive force of shells that simultaneously shook the 
plaster from the walls, bulged all partitions, and shivered the glass into 



FREDERICKSBURG. 41 

fragments. From others corners and chimneys were missing. Still others 
were riddled through and through, while yet others were but masses of 
blackened ruins. In spite of strict prohibitory orders men were roving 
around, ransacking the buildings from cellar to attic in quest of valuables, 
frequently tearing holes in the plastering so thorough was their search. 
The ground was strewn with a fine assortment of artillery projectiles, intact 
and broken. 

At the first street corner, coming from the bridge, stood a large elm 
tree. Behind this a rebel sharpshooter had the preceding day screened 
himdelf. He plied his deadly trade more or less successfully until a twelve- 
pound Yankee solid shot squarely struck the tree and passed entirely 
through it tearing off splinters as large as fence rails. One of these clearly 
beheaded the Confederate who still lay on his side just as he had fallen. 
The head with its dull, glazed, open tearless eyes had rolled against his 
back, while long locks of hoary hair floated on a tide of his own blood. He 
was one of Barksdale's Mississippians. Higher up the cross street was a 
Tacant lot where were scattered the bodies of a dozen rebels killed while 
retreating from the river front. Groups of Federal soldiers gathered about 
them and sorrowfully discussed the varying fortunes of war. One was 
standing by a smooth-faced youth lying on his side with bent head. From 
his pocket had been taken a letter neatly addressed in a feminine hand, and, 
while one read it aloud, the others looked over his shoulders. It was from 
the dead soldier's wife, couched in southern dialect, and explained the cause 
of her not writing sooner, told of the little babe but three Weeks old that 
he had never seen, yet would call him papa on his return and lovingly ex- 
pressed the wish that he could see it. To impress the fatherly relationship 
still more, she spread the child's little hand on the paper and with a pencil 
outlined the wrist, the thumb, and the tiny fingers, the entire sketch scarcely 
exceeding in size a silver dollar. She told him how much he was missed, 
how she longed to see him again and how she expected soon to hear from 
him. She alluded to the needs of the family, to the scant supply of pro- 
visions and clothing, and gratefully mentioned the kindness of the few 
neighbors. She acquainted him one by one with all the relatives at home, 
▼ith friends in the army and elsewhere, and finally imparted the war senti- 
ments of each acquaintance. What a missive! The mother did not then 
know that she was a widow. It is doubtful if the letter was ever answered. 
When its reading was concluded not an eye was dry. Each silently looked 
the other in the face. It brought home the terrible nature of war. Two of 
that group subsequently met the same fate. 

Despite the horrors of the day's experience, not a few incidents occurred 



42 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

grotesque and laughable. In an adjoining yard was a group of Union sol- 
dicrs, one rocking energetically an old-faBhioned box cradle, while another 
brought flour from a neighboring pantry that two days before was worth 
|250 (Confederate) a barrel. The wooden canopy had been removed and 
was used by a third to bring water from the nearest pump. With no 
particular regard to proportions these were poured together therein, and, 
without yeast or baking powder, vigorously stirred with a chair rocker. 
When the unfastidious deemed the mi'xture adequate to the production of 
palatable flapjacks, another would scoop out some with an empty flower-pot 
and pour it into his frying dish for which he proceeded to find position at 
an already overcrowded fire, the street curbing serving as a backlog. While 
manceuvering for place a rebel projectile knocked a chimney off the adjacent 
building, fragments flying in every direction even into the cooking pans. 
To the remark of his associates, as he gazed upon the remnant of the 
structure, he responded musically in the opening lines of a soul-stirring 
baptismal hymn. Its sentiments were appropriate from a military stand- 
point, but the gravity of the occasion was more serious than the levity of 
his answer implied. Showers of bullets pattered on the roofs in the vicinity 
while shot and shell hurtled through the air above. 

Now and then the various regiments changed their positions to accom- 
modate later arrivals. Tobacco previously scarce and dear in our ranks, 
was plentiful and cheap enough now. As the chill of night came on the 
men utilized fences, clapboards, splintered doors and furniture to boil their 
coffee and dry their damp clothes and muddy feet. No fires were allowed, 
however, after dark. 

Saturday, 13th. At daylight the troops were aroused by the booming 
of cannon and the rattling of musketry, indicating engagement at close, 
quarters. A heavy mist hung over the city and surrounding heights aa if 
Nature herself was reluctant to unveil the stage upon which was to be 
enacted the fearful tragedy of the day. The Second Corps held the centre 
and the lower portion of the town ; the Ninth Corps was on the left of the 
Second and connected with the Sixth Corps in William B. Franklin's Left 
Grand Division at Deep Bun. The Bight Qrand Division numbering about 
27,000 men, most of whom were at this time massed in Fredericksburg, was 
commanded by Major-Gen. Edwin V. Sumner, whose headquarters were at 
the Phillips House. They were waiting patiently or impatiently the move- 
ments of Franklin who was to open the ball. To relieve the monotony each 
gave his curiosity loose rein and constituted himself an exploring expedi- 
tion. Some members of Company B discovered a tobacconist's store whence 
a large quantity of the weed and a box of clay pipes were secured, and 



FKEDEBICKSBURO* 43 

immediately a goodly number of the r^ment were wreathed in smoke. 
Others discovered a barrel of salt mackerel and several boxes of smoked 
herring which were brought into the street and opened ap free to all. Two 
barrels of sugar came rolling along and fierce was the contest for first 
' chances at their contents. Fortunately a cask of molasses appeared a few 
moments later and an effective diversion was accomplished. Tom, a colored 
boT with musical inclinations and the servant of Captain Leavens, secured 
a piano and managed to get it as far as the pontoon bridge, intending to 
take it to the old camp, but the guards would not let him cross the river. 
Suddenly unusual commotion was noticed up the street and a body of 
troops were seen approaching. It was Meagher's Irish brigade. It halted 
directly abreast the row of our stacked muskets, and, when at attention, the 
general made a brief address from his saddle, informing the men they were 
immediately to proceed to the front where he expected each one would do 
his dnty and add to their honors. At its conclusion the column passed on 
to the battle front. A few moments after they disappeared one of our 
batteries suddenly opened fire, working its pieces with exceeding rapidity 
for a few moments, and then slacking down when a crackle of rifles ensued 
that increased to a continuous rattle. In less than half an hour the wounded 
of that brigade began to come in, some on stretchers and others less seriously 
injured leaning on their muskets as on a crutch or a cane. The waiting 
soldiers calmly discussed their individual chances for making similar exit 
from the field. 

Jnst about the time Meagher's command passed by, the rebels increased 
their fire on the town. A shell that came rolling down a side street ex- 
ploded at the feet of Nicholas W. Matteson of Company F, cutting off one 
foot at the instep as with a cleaver and mangling the other at the ankle. 
Dr. Harris at once took measures to prevent additional loss of blood but 
said he had been forbidden to amputate under fire, so the unfortunate man 
was removed to a temporary hospital in a building near by, where he was 
left in the care of those in charge who promised to dress his wounds and 
look out for him. It was reported that nothing was ever done for him, and 
that, eventually, he bled to death. James W. Bates of the same company 
^as injured in the face at the same time by flying debris, and, Calvin R. 
Mathewson, of Company C, was also slightly wounded. 

For two hours or more the din had been almost deafening. Just before 
el€?en we were called into line and started down the street, but frequently 
thongh only momentarily halting. Crossing the railroad at the brick depot 
juBt beyond, we turned to the right into Commerce Street and soon were 
in view of and began to receive the fire of the enemy. At times the regi- 



44 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

ment moved forward on the double-quick. There was no flinching and the 
flies were kept well closed though the screening shelter of fences and houses 
was fully appreciated. Near the outskirts of the town there was a slight 
oblique turn to the right in the street and on the exposed side was a tight 
board fence, where one section (now termed platoon) of a battery of twelve- 
pounders was firing obliquely to the left through openings made by the 
removal of upright boards to admit the muzzles of the pieces. The smoke 
and mist obscured all things beyond, so the men hurried forward under their 
cover though bullets were thickly spattering adjacent buildings, splinters 
flying from the fences and artillery projectiles crushing all things in their 
way. One of the elongated variety came bowling along the sidewalk end 
over end hitting the sword scabbard of an o£Scer immediately in front of 
the author, barely missing himself and striking squarely in the knee a sol- 
dier following. He fell with a thud upon the ground but was immediately 
carried away by his comrades. Just beyond Michael Kerr, of Company D, 
was stricken by a bullet that cut a horribly ragged hole in his right temple, 
the side opposite the enemy unless he was looking around. His face quickly 
turned dark purple. I was one of those who placed him on a stretnber 
and carried him to the rear. We were obliged to stop and rest frequently 
though flying bullets and shells Spattered mud upon us and shivered and 
splintered the fences and roofs. Each time we halted he cried, "Carry me 
away ! Carry me away !" It required one man to hold him while we were 
removing him. We left him in charge of a New Hampshire sui^eon whom 
I saw insert a probe deep into the wound. Kerr recovered and lived many 
years. Attaining at length the outskirts, the two brigades composing 
Sturgis's division formed in line of battle under a galling fire from the 
enemy's batteries. The Twelfth Rhode Island Colonel Brown was on the 
left and the Sixth New Hampshire Colonel S. G. Griffin on the right of the 
Seventh as they crossed the railroad cut and advanced toward the sunken 
^oad. The two latter were on the right of the railroad ; the First with the 
Second Maryland Colonel Allard, and the Ninth New Hampshire Lieutenant- 
Colonel Babbitt were on the left. At the first place the line was halted the 
men were instructed to lie down under the shelter of a slight rise of ground ; 
then they were ordered to commence firing. They were to load, rise, go to 
the front of the eminence and then fire. The color guard being also inex- 
perienced was instructed by Colonel Bliss to lie down and not to fire unless 
charged upon, to watch out for the safety of the flag. Here it was that 
Lieutenant-Colonel Sayles was instantly killed while lying down, perhaps 
twenty feet to the right of the colonel who was isprinkled from head to 
foot with his blood and pieces of his lung. He was struck in the left 



FRBDERICKSBUR6. 46 

breast by a long shell probably fFom a three-inch rifle or a ten-pound Parrot 
while urging on and praising his men in the right wing. About this time 
Lieutenant Wilbnr received a flesh wound in the leg below the knee. Four 
men were detailed to carry him off the fleld. Each took a comer of the 
blanket and started with their burden. Soon one of the nnmber fell 
wounded. The three remaining endeavored to continue their journey, but 
right speedily another was wounded. Bergt. Esek Green and Corp. 
William A. Baker pursued their journey with the wounded officer, though 
obliged to make frequent halts until they reached a high board fence, when 
they deposited their burden and b^an discussing in what manner they could 
most quickly overcome that obstacle. That very instant a rebel solid shot 
passed between them and smashed an aperture therein large enough to drive 
a mule team through. The three were dumbfounded for an instant when 
Green exclaimed, ''Baker, catch hold of the blanket; Ood Almighty has 
made a hole in the fence for us ; now let's carry him through !" and they 
resmned their journey. The next halting place was at what was supposed 
to be the shelter of a pile of bricks. No sooner had they deposited their 
load than a heavy projectile stinuck the pile with terrific force and the 
lieutenant emphatically requested to be removed from the perilous spot. 
Accordingly the journey rearward was hurriedly resumed. 

While the r^ment occupied this first position Colonel Bliss secured 
a stray musket and cartridge box and commenced firing to encourage and 
steady his men. When thus busied a bullet grazed him and killed Harris C. 
Wright, of Company B. After tarrying here a little more than half an 
hour, "Forward !" was again the order. The regiment climbed a fence, crossed 
an old road and at a slight swell of ground made a brief halt to reform the 
line. A position was then momentarily taken behind a second fence to 
await the general order to charge across the plain. Then the entire brigade 
moved forward on the double-quick. As the division crossed with unwaver- 
ing line the three hundred yards between the starting point and the extreme 
^nt line, a perfect volcano of flame belched out from Cobb's and Kershaw's 
f^l brigades, each of which corresponded at least to one of our divisions. 
1%e Seventh steadily advanced until, at length, it reached a slight ridge 
beyond which it was absolutely impossible to proceed. Not far beyond was 
a country road passing the Embree House, a spacious two-story brick 
structure in one comer of a large enclosure surrounded by a high board 
fence. About a hundred and fifty paces beyond this road was the famous 
stone wall behind which ran the sunken tel^raph road. In front of this 
wall occurred one of the most merciless slaughters of the entire War of the 
Bebellion. At every impedient whether fence, ditch or ridge where the 



46 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAKD INPAlTrRY. 

progress of the line of battle had been delayed, was a line of dead and 
wounded. None would believe men could bleed so much exoept as it was 
seen. Barrels of blood had apparently been poured on the ground along 
those places. A little orchard had been whipped into fragments and the 
plank fence behind it was shivered into splinters from one end to the other. 

The little flag of the Seventh was planted on the very summit of the 
rise of ground. Not once did it sink during that long day, nor did it move 
from the fire of the foe until eight hours after when the regiment waB 
ordered off the field. Though small, it was pierced by sixteen bullets and 
one piece of shell. The men almost burrowed in the mud to escape the 
murderous fire. They expended their last cartridge, and, after partially 
replenishing their boxes from the dead and wounded and other regiments 
and firing that away, they deliberately and with rousing cheers fixed 
bayonets at the command of their colonel, remaining in i)Osition until half 
past seven when they were ordered off the field, being the first of the brigade 
to reach it and the last to leave it Their conduct elicited rousing applause 
from several regiments near them), including the old soldiers of the Fifty- 
first New York. 

Just about the time the regiment started on its final advance, Charles M. 
Taylor and Patrick Darling were mounting an open fence, four or five strips 
of board high, a little this side of the small white cottage with green blinds 
and lattice work over the front door. Taylor says he heard a bullet strike 
his comrade, and, glancing around, saw blood spurting fronu his nose and 
mouth as he dropped to the ground. He never saw his unfortunate comrade 
again. Darling was discharged for phyisicaJ disability caused by wounds 
Feb. 3, 1863. 

John Bradbury was singularly injured. A bullet entered his foot at the 
heel and came out between the second and third toes cutting a somewhat 
central wound through the whole length of his foot while contained within 
the shoe. Adjt. Charles F. Page while crossing a fence just before reaching 
the extreme front, received a wound in the forehead that destroyed one 
eye. First Lieut. Thomas S. Brownell was at once assigned to duty 
as acting adjutant. About the same time and while fence crossing, Sergt.- 
Major Joseph Swift Manchester had his right arm shattered by a bullet 
and his right thigh severely bruised. The arm was amputated near the 
shoulder* 

Late in the afternoon when at the extreme front. Major Babbitt reported 
to Colonel Bliss that the regiment in our rear was firing into our men. He 
was directed to get word to its colonel if possible and stop their firing. 
Starting for the right of his own line he had not gone far when he was 



FREDERICKSBURG. 47 

strack in the back by a ballet which pajBsed out under the left arm and 
through it making four holes and cutting a wt>und in the arm over a foot 
long. The missile grazed the lung causing a slight cough. He waa removed 
from the field in the evening and was well cared for in the local hospital. 
He frequently visited camp and remarked on leaving for Washington that 
he would be back in three weeks and give the rebs another fight. He died, 
however, at Alexandria, December 23d. 

Capt. Theodore Winn met with a narrow escape; a bullet struck a 
shoulder strap on his dress coat, first piercing his overcoat which he wore 
outside. 

Amid all the horrors of the situation, there were bits of humor that 
brightened the awful surroundings. Joseph Taylor, of Company E, while 
at the extreme front, noticed something bright fifteen or twenty paces 
beyond. After repeatedly changing his point of view, he determined it was 
an officer's sword and that he would possess it. He carefully planned that 
during a period of slack fire he would venture out and secure it. While his 
eyes were covetously focussed upon the object, a shot struck it and sent 
it flying in a shower of mud out of sight. Corp. William B. Northup 
eoufesses that while waiting in the streets of the town he found himself in 
a professional gentleman's library. He there selected an attractively bound 
volume and finding its title to be The Pilgrim's Progress, decided it would 
be ?^ appropriate to read during his anticipated trip toward Richmond. 
On gaining the street he carefully strapped it to his knapsack and had 
almost forgotten it, when, as he was lying down at the extreme front, a 
stray cannon shot, just missing his back, brushed the book from its peroh 
and knocked it into an unrecognizable mass in the mud. 

The Seventh paid dearly for the reputation won upon that field. Going 
into action with about 550 men it came out with about 350. The killed 
numbered 38 officers and men, the wounded 120. Bome forty were reported 
missing. A number of these are known to have been hit at least once and 
may have been killed by a second shot when on their way to the rear. 

It was long after dark and by a more than forty minutes' march that 
the regiment was returned to its position in the streets of the city. On the 
way the men frequently stumbled over the bodies of the dead. Just before 
nine o'clock the comtpany rolls were called and sixty rounds of anmiu- 
nition issued to each man. Before dismissing the companies Colonel 
Bliss made a brief speech. He expressed his deep gratification at their 
exhibition of courage, endurance, alertness, and obedience, and also assured 
them that he was proud of every ntan in his command ; that they all had 
covered themeelves with mud and glory. This last remark was loudly 



48 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

cheered for in their efforts to shield themselves from the enemy's Are, they 
had clung to the ground as closely as possible, in fact had actually rolled 
in the mud all the afternoon and evening. 

Many brave fellow^s wandered around that day averring they had lost 
their regiments and indeed they had, but those in line failed to sympathize 
with them and indeed said frightful things to them. A soldier who had 
assisted a disabled comrade to a place for surgical treatment upon return- 
ing to the field in search of his r^ment found himself in a sorry plight. 
Generally it had moved, none knowing where. Some abandoned the attempt 
and stood bravely shoulder to shoulder with members of familiar organiza- 
tions. For example, Hartford Alexander, of Company E, became lost on 
the field and straightway went into the ranks of the Fifty-first New York 
where he performed his whole duty. When the day was over he sought and 
found his way to his own company bringing a written statement from its 
colonel, R. B. Potter (later General Potter), that he had well and faithfully 
performed a brave soldier's duty that day with that regiment. 

Capt. Geo. N. Stone who had witnessed the death of Colonel Sayles was 
so sure that he could locate his remains that Colonel Bliss allowed him to 
take Vamum H. Dawley, Ezra Barber, Corp. Thomas Conway, Preston B. 
Richmond, the colonel's orderly and one other man back to the battlefield 
to secure the body if possible. As it was too dark to distinguish aught 
and the use of lanterns out of the question, the only means of identification 
was by the sense of touch. Accordingly, when they had reached its ap- 
proximiate location, they scattered themselves slightly and fumbled over 
each corpse they encountered. At length, Dawley discovered one bearing 
shoulder straps. Bringing his hands downward he found the chest was 
completely shattered, one hand passing entirely within the cavity made byj 
the exploding shell. The identification being thus rendered positive the| 
body was placed upon a blanket and with diflSculty returned to the regi-i 
ment. It was laid in a shed and afterward viewed by a number of the' 
comrades. The colonel's canteen partially filled with whisky still hungj 
about his neck. The chaplain cut the straps and placed it against a poi 
When it was called for a few moments later it had disappeared. Some 
the group were surprised, others were not. The remains were subsequentl; 
returned to Rhode Island in charge of the quarterma«ter's clerk, Winthro] 
A. Moore. About midnight the men were aroused by a very heavy volley 
musketry, but nothing further was heard from it. 

With the exception of Gen. Thomas R. R Cobb who recklessly an^ 
needlessly exposed himself and was brought down by a bullet, the rebel lod 
was comparatively insignificant, though Maxcy Gregg was mortallj 





LIEUT. BRIDGMAN C. ROOT. 



LIEUT. WINTHROP A. MOORE. 




CAPT. EDWARD T. ALLEN. 



LIEUT. EDWIN R. ALLEN. 



FREDERICKSBURG. 49 

wounded. His grandmother was the daughter of the first admiral of the 
American navy, Esek Hopkins, whose statue adorns one of the Providence 
parks; his grandfather v^na Bev. Jonathan Maxcy, D. D., second president 
of Brown University. 

Sunday, 14th. The day was passed in the streets of Fredericksburg. 
At the front there was but little musketry. During the morning the rebel 
army was paraded on the sunny hills, its polished arms flashing brightly, 
its bands playing Dixie. The prospect that the country would become an 
undivided one was dark and remote. We were burdened with the thought 
that the glory of the starry flag was departing; that the Union, which had 
«tood forth like the sun in heaven, was passing away with dishonor. Dur- 
ing our brief absence at the firing line a terrible change had come over the 
city. The windows had been broken out or removed, the doors were 
utilized for stretchers, while parlor and cellar, corridor and garret, court- 
yard and garden were filled with the wounded and dying. The harrowing 
industry of the surgeons was conspicuous. Men with every degree of mu- 
tilation were lying around on bare boards with only a haversack or a can- 
teen under their head, seldom a blanket. Most were suffering keenly, 
«ome were dying. The floors were stained with pools of blood. One of 
the saddest sights the author witnessed was that of a soldier whose leg had 
been amputated close to his body. Almost choking with grief he ezclaimedy 
noting the compassionate look of the stranger, ^'I should not care for this 
if we had been put in where we had the least chance. I would not have 
cared for my leg so much if we'd had any show. It's gone for nothing !" 
Tears came into his eyes and he repeated, "If we'd only had a show ! It's 
gone fofT nothing !" There could be no comfort for a sorrow like that. 

Through the streets a continuous line of ambulances moved toward the 
l^ridges and across the river, to a waiting train of cars that were to carry 
the maimed to Acquia Greek Landing, whence steamers transported them to 
the various government hospitals at Alexandria and Washington. Mean- 
while the r^mental olBcers considered themselves fortunate in finding dry 
reclining accommodations upon an unoccupied floor. It is noteworthy that 
despite the havoc wrought not a single inhabitant was killed^ during the 
bombardment, though quite a number remained in their cellars. 

Monday, 15th. Still abiding in the streets of the city. The removal 
of the wounded was being expeditiously conducted. At one o'clock we were 
ordered to stand in line by our arms, ready to relieve troops at the front. 
Not until after dark was the command to march received. As only our 
brigade marched away it was soon learned that we had been awarded a 
post of honor, that of covering party, while the rest of the army should re- 

4 



50 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

cross the Rappahannock. The Seventh marched out across the plain to 
within two or three hundred paces of the famous stone wall and then cau- 
tiously approached the rebel pickets whose proximity was such their voices 
were readily heard. Here we halted and commenced to throw up entrench- 
ments for protection in case of attack, having been duly cautioned to ob- 
serve strict silence. Some formed a picket line, while the remainder were 
conducted into a two-story brick building, Companies G and E being sta- 
tioned on the upper, floor. All inside were instructed to pierce its walla 
with loopholes for their muskets, which would prove useful in case of an 
attack by the enemy next morning. These were not completed, however, 
for at midnight they were directed to cease work and return to the city, 
which they found silent and deserted. The Seventh was the last to leave 
that portion of our front. One comrade recorded the fact that when his 
party reached the bank the engineers had already commenced to take up the 
pontoon bridge, that indeed several boats had been removed and that a boat 
was sent to ferry this party from the levee to the end of the bridge. After 
crossing a speedy march brought us to our old camp at 2.15 a. m.^ having 
been absent well-nigh four days. 

Tuesday, 16th. Regardless of the icy, cold rain that bad commenced 
falling soon after midnight the men sank on the ground in search of needed 
rest and sleep. Everybody and everything was thoroughly water-soaked. 
Many had lost some and a few all of their belongings. Some were destitute of 
tents or of wraps to sleep in, others were barefooted, and still others had 
shoes ruined at the toes by standing too near a fire. Quite a number were 
excused from duty for lack of presentable clothing. Two such comrades 
built a shelter of pine boughs over a dugout in the slope of the ravine at the 
rear of the camp, and remained there several days until needful supplies 
could be procured. Footgear was not included however in the first invoice 
received. 

The body of John Malone, of Company E, was discovered in hU quarters 
this morning stiff and cold. He evidently had perished from exposure 
and want of care on the day preceding. It was not known that he was 
seriously ill, hence he was not sent to a general hospital when offensive 
operations were commenced. His quarters and his personal effects fell to 
a destitute comrade. The casket in which his remains were interred ^v-as 
made of hard-tack boxes. It was too short and his knees had to be pressed 
down while the cover was nailed on. He was buried at the top of the north 
slope of the big ravine in which the balloon camp was situated. Quite a 
little cemetery was already established there through contributions from 
the neighboring regiments. It may here be observed that when the Seventh 



FREDERICKSBURG. 51 

made its first burials intervening regiments voluntarily fell into linf and 
presented arms as it passed by. About ten o'clock the weather cleared up 
somewhat, the wind having shifted to the northwest. The men slowly com- 
menced repairing their quarters for rehabitation. 

Wednesday, 17th. The slaughter was over. The army was decimated 
and despondent. The soldiers felt more acutely than words can indicate that 
their assaults had been fruitless and that their comrades had died in vain. 
The An^y of the Potomac was an intelligent body of men and the thought 
that they had ^^no show" caused a pang inexpressible. By their fires they 
discussed the merits of war, peace, patriotism, rebellion, industry, and idle- 
ness. 

All are now at work preparing the old camp for reoccupation. Its ap- 
pearance was just about that indicated in later pictures purporting to 
portray the shelter furnished in the Andersonviile prison pen. A number of 
our slightly wounded straggled into camp to-day. The weather continued 
vet and icy. Provisions were very scant Fried pork and hard-tack was 
considered a choice bill of fare though plain. 

A lai^e detail including representatives of the Seventh (one of whom 
was Charles H. Humtes of Company D) was sent over the river under a flag 
of trace to bury the dead on the battlefield. They interred 913 Union sol- 
diers, all of whom had been stripped, even to the shoes on their feet. The 
bodies of five officers were brought with them on their return next day even- 
ing. 

Thursday, 18th. Brigade inspection. Company G numbering thirty 
men was ordered to picket duty on the river bank between Fredericksburg 
and Falmouth. Very many have contracted severe colds. Each night there 
is a dreary chorus of coughing and wheezing, remarkable for the volume and 
nerve-rasping quality of its tone. 

Friday, 19th. Adjutant Page and Sergeant-Major Manchester started 
for home this morning. 

Saturday, 20th. Thaws a little in the sun. Captain Rodman and 
Liaitenant Wilbur receive leaves of absence on account of their wounds and 
start for Rhode Island at three p. m. 

Bunday, 21st. A picture gallery established near at hand receives con- 
siderable patronage. 

Monday, 22d. Many slept cold last night. All are closely scrutinizing 
their huts to-day, closing every opening and industriously securing such 
fuel as they may, for it is difficult to procure. One man found an auger 
in the city and brought it to camp. It is used to bore stumps for blasting. 
Thus his mess possesses a resource others are unable to develop. During 



52 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

the last three days on account of the extreme cold, the men have confined 
themselTes within their huts, daily drills have been omitted, and a number 
of routine duties also. AJs it is a trifle more comfortable a battalion drill 
is held. The balloon was up this morning taking observations. 

Tuesday, 23d. About two hours of sunshine to-day, the most within 
a week. The Bight Grand Division was inspected this forenoon. The 
diminutiveness of our companies was exceedingly noticeable* We numbered 
but 450 men. When Generals Sumner and Bturgis reached our line the 
latter said to the former : "This r^ment did some of the hardest fighting 
that was done at Fredericksburg." Opposite the faded and ragged standard 
they stopped and gazed a couple of minutes, when he continued : "Sixteen 
holes, by and the Union all knocked to hell!" General Sumner ad- 
dressed the regiment as follows: "Soldiers of the Seventh Rhode Island, 
in your first battle you fought like men and were a credit to your officers 
in command and to myself in command of this division. I am proud of 
you, and you are an honor not only to your own State, but to the United 
States." 

Benoni Steere, of Company D, died to-day. 

Wednesday, 24th. Atmosphere very smoky; nothing new but smoke. 
Battalion drill. Amasa N. Corbin, of Company K, died. 

Thursday, 25th, Christmas. The air was laden with frosty mists and 
there was considerable wind. At eight o'clock we formed line and left camp 
for twenty-four hours' picket duty along the north bank of the river from 
the Lacy House to Falmouth. The house was the property of the wealthy 
planter whose name it bore, but he skedaddled on the approach of our 
army, leaving the plantation and slaves in charge of a Mr. and Mrs. Heffiing. 
It stood on high ground overlooking the city and surrounding country. 
Picket headquarters was in an immense ravine that opened upon the river 
bank not far below Falmouth. This was an ideal place for such a purpose, 
for not only was it screened from hostile view, but it was the only place 
along the bank where comfortable fires protected from high winds could be 
enjoyed. Lieutenant Allen with Company G, was on duty at the post whence 
flag of truce communications passed to and fro. He had the pleasure of 
waiting upon Miss Fannie Cox across the river and to his post whence he 
sent her under escort to the rear. It is necessary barely to mention that 
an old-fashioned New England turkey dinner was not on the Seventh's bill 
of fare to-day, but the subject was well discussed. 

Saturday, 27th. A light fall of snow. 

Sunday, 28th. A fine day. Quartermaster Clerk Moore returned 
to-day from Providence and brought anoong other things fifty-five pairs of 



FBEDSRICESBUBO. 53 

mittens knit by Captain Tobey's friends for Company E. Ihe disappearance 
of tiie stately forests is becoming noticeable. They are soon to be counted 
among the things that were. Fences and outhouses vanished long siuce. 

Tuesday, 30th. Orders were issued to be in readiness to march with 
five days' cooked rations. 

Wednesday, 31st. The regiment is in charge of Capt. George E. Church 
as Colonel Bliss is in command of the brigade. Preparations for abandon- 
ing camp are complete, though there is considerable grumbling about the 
army's moving at this season of the year. The evening waa devoted to 
bonfires, serenades, and speeches. Until a late hour the diflferent bands 
enlivened the camp with patriotic music. Few of the Seventh retired 
though they knew next morning they were going on twenty-four hours' 
picket service at the usual place. Possibly this outburst of enthusiasm was 
intended to deceive the rebel comonanders as to the proposed movement of 
the Army of the Potomac next day. 

General Bumside tendered his resignation as commander of the army 
thifl day giving his reasons therefor. President Lincoln refused to accept 
it and left him free to go into winter quarters or to advance against the 
enemy. 

January, 1863. 

Thursday, 1st. On picket again at our old station. The Left Qrand 
Division started for the extreme right beyond Falmouth, but a heavy rain- 
stonn set in and the roads became exceedingly muddy. Soon it was 
&b(9olntely impassible to move the artillery and baggage wagons even with 
extra horses attached. The wheels heavily burdened with mud out the 
logs of the corduroy into fragments that floated in the road stream scraping 
the legs of man and beast and rendering locomotion intolerable. Late in 
the afternoon it became evident that the movement was abandoned. 

Friday, 2d. Back to camp once more. The troops that were moving 
to the right yesterday are returning to their former quarters. They were a 
flon7 array of wet, muddy, hungry, and discouraged soldiers. The rank 
And file earnestly discussed the situation. They were generally suspicious 
that somehow the government machine was being so manipulated as to 
render it very uncertain whether a commander could hold his position 
twenty-four hours or twenty-four days. In the evening the brigade band 
came over and serenaded Colonel Bliss in his own camp. A large bonfire 
scattered its welcome light and heat in all directions. It was a cheering 
contrast to the wearisome exi>erience of the preceding day. 

Sunday, 4th. At inspection this morning great interest was mani- 



54 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

fested in the welfare of the soldierB. Everything was closely scrutinized. 
Now Henry Winsemann of Company I was a large man and wore very large 
shoes, say No. 12. These presented a broad surface, and, of course, were 
quite prominent. His trousers were rather short, rendering his huge whangs 
all the more conspicuous. Their fronts shone beautifully, but when polish- 
ing he had entirely ignored the heels. To them still hung a thick rough 
dry coating of bright yellow mud. This attracted the inspecting officer's 
attention, and, directing the German's notice to the difference between the 
fronts and heels of his shoes, requested an explanation. Winseman promptly 
replied, "A good soldier never looks behind." 

At dress parade Major Tobey was in command, Lieutenant Daniels 
acting as adjutant, and but three line officers appeared. 

Monday, 5th. Something of a novelty occurred in camp this evening. 
Miss Mary Handy was married to Commissary Sergt. Steadman Clarke by 
Chaplain Harris Howard. 

Tuesday, 6th. A review of the Ninth Corps had been ordered for two 
p. M. on Stafford Heights. The day opened boisterously. Line was formed 
at ten o'clock when Captain Church in an excellent speech formally pre- 
sented a new silk national flag. The brigade was formed on our parade 
ground and then marched to the designated position attaining that about 
noon, but it was nearly two before the entiife corps was formed. General 
Burnside and staff then rode down the line. Just as we were ready to 
march past it began to rain and the regiments were dismissed. Major Tobey 
appeared for the first time on horseback. Sixteen blankets were issued 
to men who had been sleeping in the woods with little over them but their 
overcoats. Henceforth they were able to get a little more comfort out of 
life. 

Wednesday, 7th. Company drill in the morning. Brigade drill in the 
afternoon under Colonel Bliss, and later an issue of clothing to the men. 

Thursday, 8th. Battalion drill and afterwards picket duty beyond the 
Laoy House. General Burnside and his adjutant-general made a captive 
balloon ascension apparently to a greater height than had previously been 
attained. They remained up nearly two hours. The soldiers watched it for 
a long time, discussed its utility and the scenery possibly visible to its 
occupants; also philosophized on the consequences of its accidental escape 
and drifting southward beyond the enemy's camps. The rebs did not take 
kindly to these observations, for one day they sent two shots at it. The 
projectiles missed it, widely falling far short and landing in the forest. 

Friday, 9th. Hon. William H. Cranston is a guest at regimental head- 
quarters. He announced that he had in charge a new flag for the Seventh 



FKEBERICKSBURG. 65 

given by the ladies and gentlemen of Newport. As, however, it had not 
arrived from Washington, he authorized Lieut. John R. Stanhope to present 
it when it should be received. 

Saturday, 10th. Nearly all the men have built for themselves log huts. 
Bo long as any portion of the adjacent forests of oak and pine remain they 
do not propose to suffer from the cold. The planting of a considerable 
number of siege guns on hills fronting the city looks ominous. 

Sunday, 11th. Acting Adjutant Brownell resigned to-day and returned 
to Rhode Island. John Sullivan who waa commissioned second lieutenant 
on tbe 7th instant was detailed his successor. 

Division drills were held on the 12th and 13th; battalion drills on 
the 16th and 17th, that on the latter day being followed by picket duty. The 
rebs opposite were observed constructing trenches. About this time the 
national fla^ purchased by friends in Newport came to hand and was 
fonnally presented to the regiment by Lieutenant Stanhope. Captain 
Church accepted it in an appropriate and creditable address. 

Sunday, 18th. Three days' rations were issued with orders to be in 
wadineBS to move on very short notice. 

Monday, 19th. Brigade drill. 

Tuesday, 20th. Sumner's Grand Division which had been on the point 
of moving, was prevented from so doing by a sudden and 'violent storm 
of wind and rain with an unusual accumulation of mud in the roads. Down 
the company streets water ran with the force and the volume of a mill 
stream. Sections of the camp were entirely submerged ; the men were obliged 
to pile their belongings in a heap and sit thereon, tailor fashion. Everyone 
thought his quarters was the storm centre. The whole region was desolate, 
one vast quagmire. Yet despite all this a brigade review was held. 

Wednesday, 21st Only those who know what Virginia mud is can 
appreciate what the brave soldiers had to undergo in that fearful struggle 
with earth and water. When it rains the bottom drops from the clay road 
bed which becomes so tenacious that extrication from its clutch is well- 
&igh impossible. Vain was the utmost energy of horseflesh. Vain double 
and triple teams. In vain did men put their shoulders to the wheels. Not 
an inch would the artillery or supply trains or pontoon train move. And 
all the time a driving rain. Men and animals up to their knees and every 
wheel to its axle in mud. Never did men pit more heroically human brain 
and human muscle against inanimate nature. At last man succumbed to 
nature. It was no longer a question of how to go on, it was a problem of 
how to get back. The troops bivouacked in the same positions they held 
the night previously. It was a desperate experience. The operations had 



66 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

not escaped the observation of the wary rebels, and the pickets on the oppo- 
site bank called over to ours that they would be over to-morrow and help 
us build the bridge. All day long we have been waiting for the order to 
move, while the rain has continued to beat unmercifully upon our tenta, and 
the wind has not abated. 

Thursday, 22d. Another day of storm and rain. No start yet. The 
roads and woods were filled with stragglers, though many of them were 
involuntarily such and were honestly seeking to rejoin their raiments. It 
is related that a soldier was passing nearly waist deep in soft mud. A 
comrade observed that it was very bad walking on the roads. He suidur- 
ingly retorted, "I am not walking; I've got a horse under me!" 

Saturday, 24th. Another tour of picket duty at the river. 

Monday, 26th. The pleasant weather of the past three days has been 
utilized by extricating with almost incredible labor our cannon and wagons 
from the mire. Our men have rested, and dried and cleaned their apparel. 
To their infinite disgust another storm has commenced equaling in sever- 
ity any of its predecessors. Some were flooded out of their quarters and 
but few slept. 

Tears before the war, Burnside, then a young subaltern fresh from 
West Point, visited Fredericksburg to attend the wedding of a comrade, 
perhaps that of the rebel general, Dabney H. Maury, from whom the story 
comes. The young officers walked around the heights, and disouscied 
methods of attack and defence. Their judgment was that twenty thousand 
men would render them impregnable against any force that could be mus- 
tered beneath them. Of the correctness of that opinion the reader will 
soon be in position to judge for himself. 

Thursday, 29th. This morning with snow knee deep and the inside 
of our huts as cold as ice houses, we were called to face the piercing wind 
during a tramp to the river bank. In the afternoon the sun appeared and 
there was prospect of better weather. 

We know not the truth, but it is rumored to-day that Burnside has 
resigned, and that "Fighting Joe Hooker'' is now in command of the Army 
of the Potomac. (This change in the leadership did occur on the 26th.) 

Ambrose E. Burnside has been styled the "Butcher of Fredericksburg." 
The justice of that appellation may here appropriately be considered. The 
veriest tyro in the art of war knows that it is a fundamental principle in 
that art that, when an attempt is to be made to penetrate any portion of 
an enemy's line, another attack should simultaneously be made upon some 
other portion of that line, which attack should be prosecuted with sufficient 




imXX. OOU. GEORGE E. CHOI^Ca 




vjo-. v^. S«^L-, _ 




MAJ. JACOB BABBITT. 



LIEUT. COL. JOB ARNOLD. 



FREDERICKSBURG. 57 

vigor to mjBtify him as to the real objective, and with sufBcient force to 
penetrate the line should he weaken it in his endeavors to repel the main 
attack. That the attack of the Bight Grand Division (Sumner's) was a 
feint is apparent from the fact that it contained but 22 J36 men, while the 
Left Grand Division (Franklin's) contained 46,892, or more than double the 
right, proving that was intended to be the chief attacking force. Sumner's 
loss in the infantry brigades alone, which did or should have done the 
assaulting, was well-nigh one-quarter the entire force at his command, 
while Franklin's corresponding loss was only one-foqrteenth. What fur- 
ther proof is necessary of the alertness of the one commander and the gross 
inefficiency (to use the mildest possible term) of the other? But when it 
is remembered that George G. Meade, who commanded the central division 
of the attacking column in the Left Grand Division on that day, and then 
and there accomplished the most brilliant achievement of his life in that he 
placed his Pennsylvania Beserves in the rear of Lee's battle line, penelrat- 
ing even to his reserves, which position he maintained well-nigh two hours ; 
that Lee admitted to Meade at Appomatox that if he had been supported 
bj a single division himself would have been obliged to have fallen back 
twelve miles with his entire army; that Franklin neglected alike the ap- 
peals of his subordinate for assistance, and the orders of his superior to 
attack in force, although he had well in hand forty thousand troops who 
practically had not smelled a whiff of powder smoke that day ; when all this 
is remembered, then will it be clearly evident that the heights of Fredericks- 
burg cannot be rendered impregnable by thrice twenty thousand men 
against the attack of many a force that can readily be assembled on the 
plain beneath unless the defenders be assisted by insubordination in the 
ranks of the assailants indistinguishable from treachery. It is not strange 
that military authorities of Europe consider the grand tactics of that 
engagament as a model, and that Burnside is by them ranked among the 
able soldiers of the nineteenth century. 

Casualties. 

• Moitall J wounded. t Performed no more duty with regiment : see Register. 

Field aiid Staff.— I^Ued : Lieat-CoL Welcome B. Sayles, Major Jacob Babbitt* 
WoTuded : Adjt Charles F. Page,t Sergt-MaJ. Joseph S. Manchester. 

Cc/n^pany A. — KiUed : Corp. Joseph Marcoux,* on color guard ; Jedediah Greene, 
woonded, missing. Wounded : Capt. Lewis Learens, braised by fragment of shell ; 
Lient. Darid B. Kenyon; Sergt Michael Flaherty, in leg ; Corps. WiUiam B. NeiE in leg, 
George C. Bathbone,t shoulder; Priyates Oeorge B. Albro, George H. Brown, Patrick 
Burke in leg, John B. Clark, sererely, Nathan P. Edwards, Henry C. Gardner in arm. 



58 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

'Joel R. Gorton, John R. Greenet foot amputated, Charles H. Holdridge, Edward Larkin, 
Horace Slocum, Samuel W. Tourjee, Richard Weedea,t George C. Wells, t Horace Wells, 
Stephen A. Whitman. 

Company B, — Killed : Privates James Brickly missing, William Cox, John Lynch,* 
Harris C. Wright. Wounded : Corp. George A. Swarts ; t Privates James D. Collins, 
Patrick Collins, t Dennis Foley, John P. Lane,t James McGuinn, Benjamin F. Miller, 
Holden Pearce, William Sanford. 

Compang C — Killed : Corp. Abraham H. Howarth ; * Privates Benjamin Budlong,* 
Benjamin W. Burgess,* William A. Coman,* Richard Radcliffe,* Job R Sweetland.* 
Wounded : Corp. John H. Chase ; t Privates John Brown, t Martin J. Converse, John H. 
Eddy, Daniel Greene, t Mathew Harrah, James Radigan. 

Company D.— Killed : None. Wounded : Corps. Elisha E. Thompson,! Esek R. 
Darling ; Privates John Bradbury severely, John B. Branigan, Seril N. Daggett severely. 
John Denico, Michael Kerr,t Christopher R. Pierce. 

Company E, — Killed : Privates Charles Boyle,* John Dempster, Patrick Kelly, 
Thomas Maloy* shot through the chest, Robert T. Pelan.* Wounded : Lieut. Greorge A. 
Wilbur in leg ; Corps. Decatur M. Boyden, Aaron B. Warfield ; Privates Charles H. Arm- 
strong, t George A. Bates, William Boyle, Irving D. Briggs, Patrick Dawling,t William 
Gill, William Johnsont right arm amputated, Patrick Murrey, t Philip Reiley in arm, 
Paul Snow,t Charles A. Staples, Henry N. Staples, t Studley Weeks^t 

Company F.^Killed : Sergt Charles H. Kellen ; * Privates Benjamin S. Hunt, 
Albert D. Kenyon,* Thomas Knight,* N. W. Mathewson.* Wounded : Corps. Albert L. 
Smith, Charles Rhowerts ; Privates James W. Bates, Thomas Battey,t George Fisher, t 
Christopher Franklin, Patrick McKenna,t Frank £. Reed, William H. Russell. 

Company G. — Killed : Sergt. Charles A. Knowles was shot through the neck, rolled 
up in his blanket and left on the field ; Privates Jesse N. Barber killed by a shell, 
Orlando N. Browning, Owen Gallagher shot in the head, Robert B. Greene,* John C. 
Kenyon, James O^Neil,* William J. Pollock killed by a shell when coming off the field, 
Daniel Smith* Wounded : Capt. Rowland G. Rodman in right shoulder ; t Sergt 
Joseph S. Sweet ; t Corx>s. Manuel Open, Benjamin A. Wilson ; Privates John A. BoUig, 
Henry Brayman, Welcome H. Card,t Elisha K. Crandall,t Horace R. Holloway,t 
Ambrose F. Jackson, t William O. Lawton. 

Company H. — Killed : Privates Jerry Leary, Daniel Ledden, Zalmon A. Olney. 
Wounded : Capt James H. Remington, lower jaw broken by a bullet ; Sergt Wilfred P. 
Taylor ;t Privates Reuben Arnold, t Oliver Dowd, Warren S. Gavitt,t Thomas Gorton, t 
John Markst deserted, William Rathbone,t Gardner C. Sweet, John B. Sweet 

Company I.— Killed : Private Abel Willis, Jr.* Wounded : Sergts. Charles H. V. 
Mayo : t Ephraim C. Morse, Fuller Dingley ; Corp. Israel B. Arnold ; t Privates Thomas 
J. Adams, t Alexander Barker, t William Collins, John W. G«ary,t David G. Jones severely, 
Caleb Mott, Jr. severely, James H. Price severely in jaw, Edward A. Radakin,t James 
Robinson, Ezra H. Sherman, John Towle,t Clark Whitford, Henry Winseman. 

Company X.— Killed : Privates Henry S. Cole, Albert A. Winsor. Wounded : Sergt 
George W. Bennett ; Corp. John F. Austin ; t Privates Nehemiah R. Collins, t Ira Cornell, 
Albert Earle,t George H. Potter, Alpheus Salisbury, t George Simmons, John N. Studley, t 
Searles B. Young, t 



FREDERICKSBURG. 59 

Recapitulation. — Officexs : two killed, six wounded. Men : thiitj-seyen killed, 
one hnndred and fourteen wounded. Total loss, 169. 

General Lee leported his loss in this engagement as 606 killed, 4,116 wounded, with 
653 captoied or missing, or 5,dT7 in alL The Union loss was 1,284 killed, 9,600 wounded, 
12,663 captured or missing, the two former being sustained in apparently small spaces 
within a short time. 

February, 1863. 

Monday, 2d. Major Tobej started on a ten days' leave of absence. In 
former campd the boys often met at eventide in little groups to sing snch 
Bongs as "We're coming, Father Abraham," "Aw^y Down South in Dixie," 
'"Marching Along," and John Brown's Body;" the other night a small 
party gathered together and sang with deep expression a different class 
of melodies, "Home, Sweet Home," "Do they Miss Me at Home" and "Carry 
me away from Old Virginy." 

Tuesday, 3d. Colonel Bliss departs for Rhode Island on a ten days' 
leaye. 

Wednesday, 4th. As firewood hajs become very scarce, a detail from 
each company goes out each morning with the team^ in search of fuel. 
There is much grumbling because of the continued absence of the pay- 
master, not a cent having been received by the men since they entered the 
field. Ten enlisted men are receiving a ten days' furlough from each three 
years* regiments. 

It is rumored that the Ninth Corps is soon to be detached from the 
Amy of the Potomac. William Bentley, of Company A, being an excellent 
cook and also quite a singer, was detailed ajs cook for General Sturgis at 
division headquarters. He remained there until he was killed by the explosion 
of a locomotive at Nicholasville, Ky., June 6, 1863. The colored boy Robert 
Wilson, who had been Captain Winn's servant, went in that capacity to 
division headquarters also, and was there after the regiment had reached 
Kentucky. 

Thursday, 5th. Went again to the river's bank on picket duty. One 
morning just before daybreak, one of Lieutenant Allen's men heard a noise 
in the water as if something was approaching. The lieutenant went a few 
rods np the river and discovered a swimming horse. When the animal 
fea^hed the shore he seized it, and, finding it to be sound, sent it to camp by 
one of the men, utilizing his sword-belt as a halter. Subsequently, how- 
ever, the lieutenant was obliged to turn his prize over, to the quartermajster. 

Friday, 6th. Much to our surprise when at the river's bank and from 
the rebel pickets we received the first reliable information of the oontem- 



60 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

plated change for the Ninth Corps. Still when they repeated to ns the 
following day the orders we had listened to at dress parade the preceding 
evening, it was evident spies and traitors were tolerably abundant in the 
Union lines. Upon our return to camp a loaf of soft bread (baker's bread) 
wajs issued to each man. This was a genuine surprise, for it was the first 
received since leaving Camp Chaae more than four months before. Some 
of the boys became so jubilant they impaled their loaves on their fixed 
bayonets and paraded about the camp in a most grotesque manner, extend- 
ing appropriate salutations, singing and attracting all possible attention. 

Saturday, 7th. For the last time we go to the river on picket duty. 
A portion of the cojps left to-day. Our brigade has received orders to 
prepare to depart. 

Sunday, 8th. Orders are issued to be in readiness to leave at any 
time. 'Although ignorant of our destination we are pleased at the prospect 
of immediate change. 

Armies of magnitude require vast amounts of supplies ; their collection, 
storage, and forwarding as needed for immediate use is a work of pai*amonnt 
importance. When operating at a distance from a railroad or from nav- 
igable waters, an immense number of wagons is indispensable. Those be- 
longing to the various commands of the Army of the Flotonmc were 
distinctly marked both on the body and on the canvas cover to avoid con- 
fusion and to secure their proper destination. In later campaigns the 
several corps badges were painted on each side of the tops. The well-known 
patient, plodding, forbearing, hardy mule was the animal chiefly utilized 
for draught purposes. He commands respect in more ways than one. His 
usefulness is as proverbial as his carelessness with his heels. They are 
said to kick in all directions; a man in front of them is no more secure 
therefrom than when standing elsewhere. Judging from the treatment I 
saw some receive this dexterity is not to be wondered at. However, when 
handled gently, all mules become trustful, kind, and good-natured. At the 
same time it must be conceded he is a strange animal, with singular ways, 
odd fancies, abundant docility, and withal a lurking strain of viciousness. 
His instinct and his intelligence alike are marvelous. He will surely keep 
to the road in the darkest night when his driver can see absolutely naught. 
He is to be commended for the patience and the hardihood with which he 
toils day after day. 

Mule driving is an art in itself and Mr. Darky is its professor. He 
was always yelling, generally imprecations of a serio-comic character, bul 
rarely flogged, save when one aroused his indignation by extraordinarj 
laziness, and then he inflicted such punishment as corresponded with hit 



FREBERICKSBURO. 61 

jdea] of the infernal regions. He knew how much better they traveled 
when other mules were in front of them and also the persnasiye power of 
gtones, for he always kept a feed basket full within reach wherewith to pelt 
the leaders. It was remarkable how quickly a mule recovered from an 
iDjnry if his dusky driver obtained some brandy with which to bathe the 
wound, yet somehow the mule's health was ever after very delicate. Should 
increased speed be noticed, Mr. Darky was very particular to state that in 
no respect was it attributable to the liquor. 



CHAPTER IV. 

From the Ra^ppahannock to the Mississippi. 
Februaby, 9 — JuNB 8, 1863. 

MONDAY, 9th. The early morning wajs devoted to cleaning up and 
packing up. By the middle of the forenoon all preparations for 
marching had been completed except removing the tent cloths 
from the tops of the huts. Most of these were worthless, being more or less 
perforated by sparks from the lowly chimneys. The men began to wax 
restless. On their own responsibility they commenced to lift the canvas. 
When the appropriate order was issued there was instant irrepressible 
activity. The impetuous could scarcely wait for the sluggish to secure 
their roofing, but heaped in various places about the camp every conceivable 
combustible, tent stakes, discarded clothing, strips of roofing, in fine all 
manner of camp truck, and applied the torch. Beside these fires the com- 
rades dried their damp blankets and tenting. Then they frolicked and 
danced. They tossed old shoes, tin cans, broken canteens, and other dis- 
carded camp utensils at the unsuspecting. Practically it was an hour of 
unrestrained jollification. One thought only filled their minds: Good- 
bye to the Rappahannock. 

* At high meridian the Seventh under command of Captain Church was 
marching toward the railroad depot situated midway between the camp 
and the river. The sick, the lame, the servants, and other stragglers, fol- 
lowed as it chanced. After a half hour's waiting a train of box cars was 
backed up. Boon all were aboard, the signal of readiness was given, and 
we were passing through a hilly country dotted on every hand with Union 
camps. Acquia Creek was reached just before six o'clock. Here were noted 
a number of new, board buildings, and an immense quantity of military! 
stores. The men debarked and an hour later marched aboard the steamer 
Georgia which was to convey them to Fortress Monroe. It was growin|i 
dark, so the boat moved but a short distance into the stream and anchore| 
for the night. That little trip, however, was at the expense of a mbn's life. 
James Hughes, of Company A, with all his accoutrements strapped about 



FROM THE RAPPAHANNOCK TO THE MISSISSIPPI, 63 

him, started to climb a ladder to the hurricane deck. There chanced to be 
some spots of ice at its foot. As he stepped thereon he slipped, fell, bounced 
through the after gangway into the sea and was drowned. His loud calls 
for help were promptly responded to, but the darkness and the time required 
to stop the steamer and lower a boat was too long a period for him to sustain 
himself above water, and at last the searching party reluctantly abandoned 
the search. Somewhere down in the Potomac his blue shrouded body is 
carried hither and thither by the ceaseless waves, rolling and tossing, un- 
known and unmarked until the sea shall give up its dead. 

Tuesday, 10th. At daylight anchor was weighed and we passed down 
the Potomac and on to Chesapeake Bay. The day was cold and windy with 
but brief gleams of sunshine. Gulls followed the boat for what fragments 
of food they could pick up, while large flocks of wild ducks were so in- 
different to our presence that many had to take wing to escape the steamer's 
onset. Soon after seven p. m. we passed the Fortress and anchored in 
Hampton Roads in the midst of a great variety of water craft. Signal 
lights were flashing all the night. 

Wednesday, 11th. The men bestirred themselves early to scrutinize 
and discuss the already historic locations within view. Soon after nine 
the Georgia was again under headway, and two hours later was lashed 
across the end of the long pier at Newport News. On the way we passed a 
i^ gunboat with Ericsson's original Monitor close beside it. Just beyond 
oar landing place the masts and crosstrees of the ill-fated Cumherland were 
^11 visible. At midday the regiment debarked, marched up the pier, and 
then by a winding roadway up the bluffs and through the lines of defences 
ont upon the plateau nearly a mile to an excellent camping place near the 
^ of the bluff. To the north was a forest of tall, fragrant, bushy-topped, 
torpentine pines, with a fair intersprinkling of underbrush; to the south 
a broad expanse of water dotted with unnumbered sails, and chimneys be- 
jond the spires of Norfolk. In line were the camps of the other regiments 
of the old brigade. All were delighted, and, although they knew their stay 
mnst be brief, they determined to enjoy it to the utmost. 

Saturday, 14th. The men are fairly settled in their new camp, and so 
^ar as weather and duty permit are investigating the surrounding country. 
A cold, disagreeable storm commenced to-day. At times mingled with the 
rain came snow which covered the entire ground. The long expected and 
anxionsly looked for schooner, Elisabeth and Helen from Rhode Island, 
arrived to-day. It reached Acquia Creek the day after we left, and landed 
its consignments for such of the State troops as remained there. To-night 
the men retire wondering what the morrow will reveal. 



64 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Sunday, 15th. This afternoon a detail was sent with the wagons to the 
pier to fetch up the boxes and packagei^ from home. These were distributed 
in accordance with accompanying directions. A large crowd witnessed the 
unloading. Boisterous congratulations were abundant, generally pro- 
portionate to the dimensions of the box or parcel. Each was promptly 
removed by the consignee for inspection, in the performance of which duty 
he lacked not assistance. Hilarity reigned. In the company streets men 
appeared with hands full of cakes, pies, etc., eating as if half starved. 
Among the viands were boiled dinners, roast turkeys, chickens, and ducks. 
Clothing, too, was a valued constituent of the invoice. Quite ludicrous was 
it to observe how promptly the fit of a shirt must be ascertained and how 
many comrades a single pair of gloves would fit. 

Monday, 16th. The field officers, all of whom are now present, are 
quartered in an old-fashioned dingy two-story dwelling at the crest of the 
shore bluff. The masts of the ill-fated frigate Cumherland are still standing 
but a little distance out. 

Tuesday, 17th. Rumors are current that by and by we shall depart 
on some important expedition ; scant credence, however, is accorded them. 
Mornings are devoted to company drills, afternoons to battalion or brigade 
drills. 

Thursday, 19th. A full supply of "A" tents has just been received. 
The men lost no time in erecting and occupying them. 

Saturday, 21st. The recent issue of soft bread, potatoes, and onions, 
together with ampler amounts of other rations renders camp life a little 
more agreeable. 

Sunday, 22d. Cold, windy, cheeerless, uncomfortable, with two inches 
of snow on the ground. Later it began to rain when the earth speedily 
resumed its wonted complexion. With the fall of the night came partial 
clearing and we were lulled to sleep by the mournful whistle of chilling 
blasts. Why does the paymaster keep away from the Seventh when long 
since he visited the Eleventh and the Twelfth? 

Monday, 23d. Ordered to prepare to leave with cooked rations for fivei 
days. This was a genuine surprise. The men hustled all day wondering] 
whither they were bound and how soon they would depart. To the joy o^ 
all it was reported during the evening that the project had been abandoned* 

Tuesday, 24th. There is a cheap and abund_ant supply of oysters. W6 
are thankful for a camp where there is no mud, but an ample and a coDr 
venient supply of fuel. 

Wednesday, 25th. Review of the Ninth Corps by Maj. Gen. John A- 
Dix. The weather was perfect. 




HAWKINS' HOUSE NEAR NEWPORT NEWS, VA. : 
Mei>ical Headquarters 7th R. I. Vols., March 6, 1863. 

A hallway extended tbroiigli the house from front to rear. The front room on the 
Urst floor was occupied by Col. Bliss, that in the rear by Mr. Hawkins. The front room 
ap&tairs was the hospital which contained at one time twenty men sick with measles. No 
<ieath resulted from this disorder. The rear room was occupied by Hospital Steward 
Peckham and the nurses. A small hall bedroom was occupied by Dr. Harris. On the 
left were negro huts. Not far away were the masts of the Cumberland and beyond the 
^^alena. 



FROM THE RAPPAHiLNTNOCK TO THE MISSISSIPPI. 65 

Saturday, 28th. This is the last day of winter, gloomy, lonesome, dis- 
agreeable. A detail of seventy men is now on picket doty two miles out Its 
post, which is reached by passing through the belt of woods in rear of the 
camp and then along a narrow road leading at times through swampy land, 
consists simply of an awning near the centre of a level field, covered on the 
one side with white withered grass and huge weeds, beyond which are 
thick woods, and on the other with dark fast rotting but still standing corn- 
stalks. The r^ment is mustered for a second time for two months' pay, 
and we earnestly hope it will amount to something ere long. 

March, 1863. 

Sunday, 1st Sergt. J. P. Bezeley waa detailed as sergeant of division 
headquarters guard ; he was returned to his company April 10, 1864, when 
at Annapolis, Md. 

Thursday, 12th. Fifty men spent the day on the picket line. Their 
location wa« different from and their experience more pleasant than that 
of the previous detail. 

Saturday, 14th. Upwards of a hundred of our men were dispatched to 
the landing for fatigue duty. They were set to work unloading a steam 
transport and a schooner. The force dwindled away quite rapidly, indi- 
cating that some of the boys had well learned the art of ''soldiering." The 
fact is less than one-third of them did most of the work, but at night all 
were ready to fall in for the return. 

Monday, 16th. The Third Division, including the Fourth Rhode Island, 
has been detached and sent by steamer to Norfolk. 

Wednesday, 18th. To-day a long list of promotions was published. 
Members of Company D received commissions and assignments as follows : 
Sergt James F. Merrill, to Company C; Sergt Henry Toung, to Company 
H; Corp. Albert L. Bolles, to Company F; and Private William W. Webb, to 
Company B. The boys have set out evergreen trees at regular intervals 
along the company streets. 

Thursday, 19th. The camp is full of rumors and the men are some- 
what excited. As some of the regiments of the First Division broke camp 
and ntarched past us to the landing to board waiting steamiers, there are 
quite a number of serious countenances among us. Later it was reported 
both divisions are going to Tennessee to re-enforce Bosecrans. George A. 
B. Smith, of Company B, correspondent of the Providence Journal over the 
signature "Bancroft," left on a ten days' furlough, but he never again 
reported for duly. Company D numbers now but thirty-eight men and is the 

5 



66 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

smallest in the regiment. A double-turreted monitor has anchored opposite 
our camp and near the frigate Minnesota. 

Sunday, 22d. Orders have been issued to hold ourselves in readiness 
to leave with cooked rations for five days. We are confident our stay here 
will soon be terminated. 

Monday, 23d. The iron-clad Qalena is anchored directly opposite us. 
Its crew are engaged in target practice, the mark being an empty barrel 
moored a long distance away. Charles W. Hopkins arrived from a Washing- 
ton hospital this afternoon while General Nagle was reviewing the brigade. 
The men are ready to leave to-night although quite a snowstorm is raging. A 
wonderful variety of stationery in bright colors, patriotic, comic, and senti- 
mental, is peddled about. Some specimens exhibit rebel officials and mili- 
tary notables in various attitudes, dress, and expression, with corresponding 
titles beneath. 

Wednesday, 25th. Neighboring camps are disappearing as rapidly as 
transports are ready to receive their occupants. Our tents were struck at 
sunset and the men stood around their campfires awaiting the order to form 
line. Much valuable provision that could not be removed, barrels of rice, 
boxes of bread, strips of pork, etc., was thrown into the flames or given to 
the negroes. To our agreeable surprise, just as we were ready to form line 
to proceed to the landing, the paymaster appeared. Out of respect to him, 
we were permitted to tarry and draw five and a half months' pay. The 
author received |76.40, of which |60 was sent home. About f45,000 was 
disbursed among the officers and men. The occasion was like a little Christ- 
mas. The treasure with its custodian was brought in a closed ambulance 
followed by a squad of cavalry. The companies were marched up and each 
paid in alphabetical order. Some men stepped forward with countenance 
wreathed in smiles, others with solemn visage and an air of "I wish there 
was more of it." One would naturally imagine that the function was the 
dullest of monotonous routines, but a certain pursebearer remarked he had 
new experiences and new troubles every day. It was not until after mid- 
night that the pecuniary obligation of the government to the regiment was 
discharged. Ilhen we marched at once to the landing guided by the silvery 
rays of the full-orbed goddess of night, and were conducted on board the 
steamer Swan that evidently had been waiting our arrival. Lines were 
cast off and the throbs of the engine told us we had indeed started for a 
distant and unknown destination. 

Thursday, 26th. When daylight broke, the situation seemed wild and 
wicked. Immense foam crests madly met, wrestled with each other, and 
threw themselves just in time for succeeding ones to engage in the same 



PROM THE RAPPAHANNOCK TO THE MISSISSIPPI. 67 

fmitlees contest. Hoge maases of water were thrown against the paddle- 
boxes, chokingy stopping, overpowering the wheels; perchance the next 
instant freed from all resistance they wonld whirl aroond with a velocity 
that threatened to disrupt everything. Now, the steamer wonld throst her 
bow (it seemed for minutes) under the waves, anon, she would stand upon 
her stem, and then drop again upon the sea with a crash that sounded as if 
another vessel was crushed to splinters beneath her. • Planks and timbers 
creaked and rubbed as if every spike and nail had started from its bed. 
Life on deck was almost unsupportable. It was worse below. The spray 
dashed over the boat unceasingly. Every one realized the experience was 
outside that of ordinary voyaging on the bay. During the afternoon the 
storm subsided and with it the heavy sea. Large flocks of sea-gulls poising 
on graceful wing hovered around. They are not specially beautiful, neither 
are they good songsters. But they are expert on the wing. They will follow 
a ship for days, accepting anything that may be offered by kind friends, 
giriiig a grateful screech in return. Occasionally we passed a fleet of fisher- 
men, and, still later, oystermen in oil-suits plying their rakes. Among their 
raried boats was to be seen the unique ^^bugeye," very similar in shape to a 
huge canoe, long and narrow, with two high masts and high peaked sails of 
the leg-of-mutton pattern. At eventide the chimneys, spires, and dcMnes 
of the Monumental City came into view, and soon after ten o'clock the 
Svcrn was made fast to a pier. Company B, of the Twelfth Rhode Island, 
participated in our day's experiences ; the other nine having preceded us on 
the Long Island. 

Friday, 27th. 6oon after daybreak numerous peddlers with assorted 
proTisions, but more particularly pastry, appeared on the wharf offering 
their tempting supplies. The recent payment having been made in bills of 
large denomination, '^twenties and tens," but one sale was possible with 
each vender, as that exhausted his supply of change. Men with a wad of 
crisp new greenbacks in their clenched fists, rushed anxiously hither and 
thither inquiring for change. Some paid a dollar or any other price for a 
^e or a pie, just to obtain a supply of '^scrip" or bills of small denomina- 
tion. We did not leave the boat until afternoon. Snow mingled with rain 
was falling and continued during the long march across the city, wetting us 
U the skin and covering us with mud to the knees. Thus all the enjoyment 
of a parade through some of its most beautiful streets was ruthlessly 
destroyed. Darkness had well-nigh settled upon the earth when we reached 
a long stretch of track upon which box cars were in waiting. It did not 
rake long to tumble into these. Each contained but a few benches and were 
ventilated by four small slide windows. Their number was insufficient and 



68 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

all were crowded. Thoroughly chilled the men began to complain and then 
to curse. It was true there was a primitive stove found in one corner, *)ut 
there was no fuel. Suddenly one of the windows shot sidewise and fencing 
was passed in sufficient for the night, boards, posts, and rails. These were 
received with shouts of gratification, and ready hands with the aid of an 
axe immediately prepared them for the stove. Before the train started there 
was a rousing fire and some degree of comfort was established. Two or 
three comrades who climbed in about that time expressed an opinion that 
a new fence would outlast any old one they had found in that neighborhood. 
Saturday, 28th. When the engine stopped early this morning for wood 
and water, some of the men jumped out and passed in another supply of the 
same class of fuel which lasted until the sun shone forth warm and pleasant. 
The train was following the windings of Codorus Creek among the moun- 
tains of Pennsylvania, crossing it a score of times more or less. At York 
a brief stop was made and a good supply of hot coffee served the men. Soon 
we described the broad and placid Susquehanna; took a good look at Harris- 
burg and ere long were at the junction of the blue Juniata. We were well 
up its famous and picturesque valley, when, in the early afternoon, the sun 
withdrew its rays and damp snow commenced to fall, mojst of which, how- 
ever, melted the instant it struck the ground. AJtoona was reached at mid- 
afternoon. Q?hough beautifully situated at the eastern base of the Alle* 
ghanies proper, its dingy, rusty appearance left an unfavorable impression 
upon the travelworn men. Here the train was divided and a locomotive 
coupled to each end of both sections. Now the scenery rapidly increased in 
grandeur until the Horse Shoe Bend was reached, the acme of the Pennsyl- 
vania system. Mountains seemed piled upon mountains in every direction 
and the engines seemied well-nigh suffocated by their labors, throwing out 
long twisting trails of unconsumed carbon with their unintermitling puff- 
ings. The storm increased as we sped down the western decline. Pittsburg 
was reached at eleven p. m. The Seventh was marched through sloppy streets 
to a capacious, brilliantly lighted, and tastefully decorated hall. Among the 
mottoes were specially noticed: "Pittsburg Welcomes our Country's De- 
fenders," and "All Honor to the Heroes of Roanoke, Newbern, South Moun- 
tain, Antietam, and Fredericksburg." Upon the spacious stage, decorated 
with ferns and palms, was seated our brigade band, which discoursed 
patriotic music while we were feasting. Fair ladies served an abundance of 
hot tea and coffee. Long tables groaned under the weight of fresh, sliced 
bread, dried beef, pickles, cheese, crackers, and apples. What the men could 
not carry away inside they stuffed into their haversacks. The function con- 



FROM THE RAPPAHANNOCK TO THE MISSISSIPPI. 69 

eluded a little past midnight with a brief speech from the platform and 
three rousing cheers for the waitresses. 

Sunday, 29th. The feast concluded we were marched into the street 
where we stood fully an hour in the slush. Then we proceeded to the depot 
where there was another long disagreeable wait Finally, a train of cars 
backed upon the tracks adjacent the train shed, and we were instructed to 
climb into them. Before daylight the train had steamed beyond the con- 
fines of the "Rusty City," as the boys dubbed it. On starting, however, a 
tremendous thumping was heard beneath the car occupied by Company D ; 
suddenly the men were thrown topsy-turvy in every direction ; then ensued 
a grand rush for the door; the car was off the track. The train was a long 
one and ran quite a distance before it could be stopped. At length the 
difficulty was corrected and again we were on the move. We were very 
weary; still, as we passed towns and villages where groups of citizens had 
assembled to watch our passing, enthusiastic cheers were exchanged. At 
eleven p. m. Columbus, Ohio, was reached. Many of us never would have 
known it but for the sound of strange voices shouting out, '^Hot Coffee and 
Bread!" We rubbed our sleepy eyes and discovered we had again fallen 
into the hands of the Sanitarians. For half an hour an unfailing supply of 
Tiands poured into the cars. 

Monday, 30th. Soon after midnight the train again started, and, at 
dawn, reached the outskirts of the Queen City of the West. It crept slowly 
along the base of the hills until just after sunrise it stopped in a muddy 
street at the base of a high bluff crowned with residences. Swine were 
roaming at will in every direction. Column was quickly formed and 
marched to the Fifth Street Market Place where arms were stacked, knap- 
f^acks nnslung, ranks broken, and the men allowed to walk about at ease in 
the glorious sunshine for which they expressed devout thankfulness. Ere 
long they were summoned into the Market building where they found a sort 
of reception breakfast. Though the decorations and the music of the pre- 
ceding entertainment were lacking there was a generous supply of coffee, 
bread, dried beef, sugar, cheese, apple sauce, and onions. The feast was 
timely and thoroughly enjoyed, for there was no suggestion of haste. In- 
deed, nearly three hours were allowed for refreshment and basking in the 
welcome sunlight. At length the order to "Fall in !" was given, and the 
march to the ferry taken up. Suddenly loud cheering was heard at the 
head of the column, which rapidly amplified as we successively passed an 
open window of the Burnett House where stood our beloved Burnside. At 
the levee near the unfinished tower of a proposed suspension bridge, we 
awaited the steam ferryboat Kentucky which would transport us to the 



70 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

farther shore. We marched directly through Covington to the yards of 
the Kentucky Central Railroad, and there patiently passed the remainder of 
the day limbering our joints by walking on the dry ground (itself a luxury), 
or mollifying our muscles by stretching ourselves on piles of logs and timber, 
reveling in the genial warmth of the sun. Just before dark the men will- 
ingly boarded a train that had just been run up, understanding it was bound 
for Lexington, ninety-eight miles distant. 

Tuesday, 31st. Sometime in the night the long heavy train separated 
near the middle, and for quite a while the locomotive with its sec- 
tion moved blissfully on ignorant of what had occurred. When cogniz- 
ant of the situation it still maintained its course, reaching its destina- 
tion at three a. m. Meanwhile another eqgine "Was sent to the aid of the 
detached cars, and, at daylight, the regiment was reunited, but alas under 
different conditions. The weather was keenly cold, squally, and snowy. 
Column was leisurely formed and marched through the city to its southwest 
border by the Horse Fair Orounds, a distance of a mile. There upon 
a green hillside of gentle slope the Seventh was halted and camp established. 
A fine spring of water was close at hand, and huge black walnut trees with 
high but widespreading branches promised agreeable protection from the 
scorching heat of the approaching summer. Mast of the fence rails and all 
the negro cabins were constructed of this material and cords of it were 
consumed for fuel. Soon the company streets swarmed with contrabands 
and others, offering pies, cakes, milk, eggs, chickens, and ducks, rendering 
the services of the sutler quite unnecessary. The pastry, however, was 
quite a curiosity to the average Yankee. One ancient lady of color was 
asked what she thought of Uncle Sam's men; she promptly replied: "I 
think great on 'em." 

Lexington at this time contained ten thousand inhabitants, the greater 
portion of them blacks. There were also a considerable number of genuine 
Unionists, who had the courage to express their sentiments openly and in 
defiance of the Southern sympathizers. This fearlessness was exhibited as 
often by the women as by the men. It had been a victim of the invasions of 
John Morgan, the notorious guerrilla chief, formerly a native resident, and 
owner of a hemp ropewalk, located near the railroad station. It had also 
been raided by Edward Kirby Smith who entered the place Sept. 2, 1862, 
and took formal possession without firing a gun. "Lor Massa," said an 
attendant, "dis de easiest tuk town we'se got yet." Henry Clay's statue and 
monument, in plajn view from the depot platform, received our merited 
attention. 




&& t M. 








(^ 



Georf c W. Gardiner. 
O.rp. Manuel Open. 
5<rgL f^corge A. Danforth. 
Corp. Isaac Nye. 



Corp. Thomas Keegan. 
Sergt. Benj. A. Keech. 
Sergt. Orrin Harris. 
Charles P. Nye. 



12 



Corp. Orlando Smith. 
Charles H. Collins. 
Christopher R. Peirce. 
Sergl. Wm. T. Wood. 




re 



Sergt. Jonathan Linton. 
Gideon F. Collins. 
Corp. Charles D. Spooner. 
Richard Edwin Taylor. 



FROM THE RAPPAHANNOCK TO THE MISSISSIPPI. 71 

Apbil, 1863. 

Thursday, 2d. There is a decided improvement in the qnality of oar 
food, of our salt meat, ajB well as of our fresh, of oor bread and of onr vege- 
tables, beans, hominy, and rice. The day was spent in perfecting the oamp. 

Friday, 3d. We are thronged with visitors. The men enjoy their ap- 
parent amazement at the comments, jokes, and doings of the Lincoln 
soldiers. 

Saturday, 4th. It is evident that the citizens are sharper when they 
come to trade a second time, for they are tendering the boys ancient 
chickens. 

Sunday, 5th. A short drill was held, although it is First Day. 

Tuesday, 7th. A stalwart negro boy named Willis, evidently a run- 
away slave, came into camp and became Captain Allen's servant. He was 
Dot o?er five feet six inches in height, but soon became famous for praying, 
dancing, and sparring. He performed his duties faithfully through the 
Vickfiburg campaign, returning with the regiment to Kentucky. When the 
captain visited his home at Wakefield, B. I., on a leave of absence, he took 
tbe lad with him. There he changed his name to William Allen, under 
which designation he enlisted in the Fourteenth Heavy Artillery, dying sub- 
sequently of smallpox at New Orleans, La. 

Wednesday, 8th. Packed and started up the Winchester pike. This 
liad been thoroughly macadamized and at first rendered the marching 
superb. The rich productiveness of the soil noticeable on either hand sur- 
prised every one. Fields and meadows alike presented an exquisitely neat 
and finished appearance. They were frequently separated by hedges, not 
always planted for barriers, but more frequently as boundary indicators. 
The rolling landscape suggested that the lengthened billows of the Pacific 
bad been recast in solid earth. From numerous springs of pure ice cold 
water at the bases of the elevations, blithe brooklets danced laughingly 
through the glades or nimbly ran beside the road, gently murmuring tender 
welcomes to the saviours of their home. Peerless abodes testified to the 
refinement of its owners ; rare herds of cattle, to their skill in husbandry. 
Such were the unconscious influences that rendered Henry Clay the graceful 
orator and tender pleader for an undivided country. But the very lime- 
stone dust that contributes so essentially to the prosperity of this paradise 
Hesperian, treated its defenders most ungraciously. Long before the sun 
had attained the meridian, not only had it clothed each pedestrian in rai- 
ment, angelic perhaps in tint, yet devilish in touch, but also penetrated every 
particle of clothing, and especially seeking each stocking's openings with 



72 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

microscopic yet with numberless needles it pricked, irritated, and inflamed 
the skin almost beyond endurance. Superincumbent burdens aided the 
attack, for thereby each imperceptible crystal was driven the deeper into the 
quivering flesh, until at last in sheer desperation, they cast away their most 
precious belongings even unto the knapsack itself. At no other time was 
the pathway of the Seventh so bestrewn with its own wreckage. But above 
all things did the feet suffer, hardened though they were by six months of 
well-nigh incessant campaigning. Chafed, bruised, blistered, locomotion 
became intolerable not to say impossible. Men hobbled, tottered, and at 
length fell by the wayside. The distance from Lexington to Winchester 
is eighteen miles, but we marched a mile and a half before leaving the former 
city, while the succeeding camp was pitched some two miles beyond the 
latter. Yet there was comparatively little straggling until the regiment 
passed through Winchester after dark. Many failed to see the necessity of 
continuing unremittingily so severe a march, and accordingly dropped into 
fence angles and composed themselves to rest. The next morning (9th) 
there were very few men in camp. There was no telling where the rest were^ 
but sure it was they were crippled and completely jaded. The skm was 
torn from the feet of many as completely as if they had been scalded. These 
unfortunates built little fires, heated water in their coffee kettles, bathed 
their feet therewith, and carefully nursed them into usefulness. All day 
long the laggards sore and lame straggled into camp, each and every one 
with some complaint. The arrangement of camp was totally negleoted that 
all might rest their weary limbs and care for their "bunged feet." One regi- 
ment in the brigade had sense enough and cash enough to hire a farmer to 
carry its baggage to Winchester. 

Friday, 10th. A new visitor appears at camp to-day : Mr. Slaveholder, 
anxiously looking for his Sambo, who has had the audacity to set up for 
himself as an officer's servant. In this particular instance the man wh? 
seeking Captain Allen's Willis. Colonel Bliss sent for the slaveholder and 
informed him that himself alone had authority to permit the searching 
of the camp, and under the circumstances the privilege could not be granted. 
It was apparent that Sambo would not have returned with his master from 
the Seventh, even when found, unless he chose to. 

Saturday, 11th. Nelson Gardiner and Corp. James A. Nicholas were 
plai^od in a town hospital for treatment. 

Monday, 13th. A second rainy day, but the men are fixing up their 
tents, although they expect to be hunting guerillas before long. 



FROM THE RA.PPAHANNOCK TO THE MISSISSIPPI. 73 

Tuesday, 14th. Fine day. Lient-CoL Job Arnold, formerly of the 
Fifth Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, has assumed the same position in this 
regiment. A favorable impression is entertained concerning him, as it is 
known he was well liked by his comrades in North Carolina. 

Wednesday, 15th. Dress parade this afternoon ; the first time we have 
been in line since our arrival. Winchester is reckoned a ''right smart 
place," and, on account of its Union sentiment, is dubbed by tiie rebels, 
''Little Massachusetts." 

Thursday, 16th. At four p. m. abandoned camp marching southeasterly 
toward Boonesboro. On reaching the bluffs overlooking the Kentucky 
River, nine miles distant, we bivouac. 

Friday, 17th. The scenery is beautiful and the men are up early enjoy- 
ing it. The site of the fort built by Daniel Boone was clearly discernible, 
and. by turning to the right, the spot where it is said the Indians captured 
his wife and daughter becomes visible. It is at the base of a limestone cliff 
which underlying the soil, rises nearly perpendicularly from the river bank 
frcm fourteen to thirty feet. They had evidently fled along the river bank 
nearly a quarter of a mile when they were stopped by the projecting wall. 
The little settlement there was named in his honor. A swing ferry trans- 
ports our men across, a few at a time. At 1.30 all are over and the march 
is resumed toward Richmond. The road wound around between hills, con- 
stantly ascending until after two miles had been passed the summit of the 
range was reached, whence an extensive panorama was unfolded to the 
spectator, revealing in the extreme east the peaks of the Cumberland Moun- 
tains. When eight miles from the river we rested for the night. The 
weather is very pleasant but rather warm. 

Saturday, 18th. An early morning start was secured. The men were 
enthusiastic over the beauties of the country. Just this side the town a 
halt was ordered and a good rest allowed that all stragglers might come 
up. When the men again fell in, they were urged to make a good appear- 
ance on parade, and then the brigade with colors flying and headed by its 
hand playing the liveliest airs, commenced its march through the one princi- 
pal street Many flags greeted our approach, as well as the smiles of beauti- 
ful women, and the waving of handkerchiefs. It was a great event. Every 
one turned out to see the visitors and to enjoy the fine music. Especially 
were the negroes enthusiastic. The older ones clapped their hands and 
«wayed to the cadence like young forest trees to the wind ; the younger ones 
leaped high in their ecstacy. One aged colored lady had her wool gathered 
into sections and tied ; the seams that marked the many partings looked 
like rivers running through a canebrake. Our entrance was indeed a com- 



74 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

plete ovation, and, when it was contrasted with the reception accorded in 
other places, the soldiers were much pleaaed, averring they never had seen 
such Secesh before. After passing nearly a mile beyond the town the regi- 
nionts separated seeking diverse localities. The Seventh encamped on a 
high, clear, smooth plain, that afforded an extensive view of the surround- 
ing country. 

Sunday, 19th. Richmond contains about 1,500 inhabitants, two 
churches, a courthouse, many beautiful residences, and the Madison Female 
Institute, a conspicuous landmark, utilized at this time as a military hos- 
pital. Half a mile eastward is a tasteful little cemetery. The country 
around is covered with rich velvety sward and occasional grain or corn- 
fields. Many of the pastures contain fine groves of old oak, maple, and 
black walnut trees. From the spreading branches of the black walnut trees 
spring green tufts of mistletoe, which add to their picturesque appearance. 
The plantations vary in size from three hundred to one thousand acres, and 
are divided into large fields by substantial fences. The farmhouses are fine 
country seats, many of them constructed of brick, costly, and chaste. 

Monday, 20th. Soon after pitching our tents, the owner of the land, 
Mr. R. H. Dillingham, called on Colonel Bliss and asked him to remove his 
command to another location, as he wished to plough and cultivate the 
land now occupied. Accordingly, we were marched a little way over into a 
beautiful maple and black walnut grove, where a systematic camp was laid 
out. This was on the battleground of Aug, SO, 1862, when the Union forces 
suffered a severe repulse from the rebels. The breastworks then thrown up 
remained in excellent condition, while the trees bore the marks of bullets, 
balls, and shells hurled by the contending armies in the furious conflict. 
Near by are many graves of those who fell mid the din and carnage of that 
struggle; in some places it was surmised the swine had overturned the 
superincumbent sod. After a day's habitation the author noticed an offen- 
sive odor in his tent. Investigation revealed that less than six inches of 
earth covered the blue uniform enclosing a soldier's body. The shelter was 
promptly removed to the end of the company street. 

Wednesday, 22d. Elisha C. Knight is detailed to cook for the regi- 
mental pioneer corps. 

Monday, 27th. Very fine weather. 

Thursday, SOth. Special Thanksgiving Day. No drill. In the after- 
noon the chaplain delivered a patriotic discourse. Just at evening the com- 
panies were ordered to stock up with three days' rations and to be ready 
on the following morning to march toward Columbia, seventy-five miles 
distant. 



FROM THE RAPPAHANNOCK TO THE MISSISSIPPI. 76 

May, 1863. 

Friday, Ist. After tents had been struck and knapsacks packed, the 
order to march was connteirnianded or suspended. Just at night tents were 
again pitched and the camp resumed its wonted appearance. Colonel Bliss 
received a leave of absence and left at once for Providence. 

Saturday^ 2d. Weather very unsatisfactory ; prospects of a storm. 

Sunday, 3d. Tents were struck soon after eight o'clock, although it 
rained. Our route was back through Richmond and thence westerly. The 
heavy, sticky clay of the roadbed rendered marching more and more diffl- 
cult The downfall of water was slow but protracted. By noonday the 
men were thoroughly soaked. Ere this we had passed Silver Creek. Fifteen 
miles had been completed at dark ; the regiment was drawn up a little to the 
Moth (left) of the road and halted. The men were footsore, and, although 
the evening was misty, they dropped where they stood, seeking rest and sleep. 

Monday, 4th. As the men awoke they rose and moved around slowly 
to discover what manner of place they were in. The bivouac proved to 
be adjacent to and partially within an ancient cemetery, on one border of 
which was a peach orchard in full bloom. The following typical inscrip- 
tion was copied by the author before rising from his grassy bed: ^'In 
memory of Jinney Adams who was born September the 30th, 1791, and was 
killed by thunder August the 20th, 1806.'' Directly across the pike and 
distant nearly four hundred yards, an old church was noted. During the 
forenoon the regiment moved in that direction but nearer the bank of Paint 
Lick Creek which was near at hand, and established a camp in a fine black 
walnut grove in which were to be found a few noble oaks. The grove sloped 
toward both the road and the creek. Its tall, moss-festooned trees afforded 
delightful shade. Fine, ice cold water was found in unfailing quantity and 
there was an abundance of fuel near at hand. It was an ideal site. Not far to 
the rear was an old fort, quite unimposing and unlikely to attract special 
attention. It was simply a huge log-house built for protection against the 
Indians. The bed of the creek was gravel and sand. Numerous petrifac- 
tions as of wood and acorns were found therein. For a long distance in 
each direction, the banks consisted of craggy cliffs surmounted with a 
growth of maple and oak. Paint Lick had evidently been specially prepared 
by Dame Nature to accommodate transit across the river. 

Wednesday, 6th. An old resident stated that this spot was much 
resorted to by all wild animals for drinking purposes and especially by 
deer. Naturally, also, it was attractive to the red men. They painted signs 
on the trunks of the trees and placed salt on the flat rocks to attract game 



76 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

within reach of jtheir weapons. Hence the namie. Dress parade was held 
to-day ; a number of visitors were in attendance. 

Thursday, 7th. The men are thoroughly exploring the surrounding 
country. They found the neighbors friendly and obliging, selling them a 
variety of supplies that afford a welcome addition to the r^ular ration. 
Visitors were well treated by all, whether representing the aristocracy, the 
poor white trash or the colored element. None came in carriages, but on 
the backs of ponies, horses, and mules. Sometimes an entire family would 
be mounted on a single animal. The premises we occupied, as well as the 
cemetery, was owned by George Denny who resided in a fine brick house 
just across the creek. He was one of the most prominent and wealthy 
citizens of Garrard County, being possessed of extensive tracts of land 
therein, as well as a large number of slaves. In this neighborhood was laid 
the scene of Uncle Tom's Cabin^ and two miles from here was the home of 
George Harris whose real name was Lewis Clarke. He is still living, and, 
but a few years since, revisited his birthplace. He told his acquaintanced 
that he met Mrs. Stowe in Massachusetts, and there gave her the story of 
his life and of his escape from slavery. One of his old friends who remem- 
bers well his sudden departure is a frequent visitor, Norman Argo, a dwarf 
negro of more than average intelligence, nearly ninety years of age, but still 
able to do light work. He was purchased by old Tom Kennedy, the master 
of Lewis Clarke for a race rider, but, proving a failure in that specialty, he 
was sent into the house for service there. At Kennedy's death Norman 
passed, by bequest, into the possession of Mr. Argo, with whom he remained 
until freedom came to him. He has received numerous proposals from ex- 
hibitors, but his invariable reply has been that he would not take the chance 
to lose his poor little soul for a little money. Eliza's escape over the Ohio 
on the floating ice, was well known here to be the actual experience of a 
fugitive slave woman. 

Friday, 8th. A disagreeable rainstorm confines us pretty closely to 
the protection of our shelters. 

Saturday, 9th. Ordered to be ready to march to-morrow morning. We 
enjoy moving around in this section of country. The only objection is a 
long tramp on the hard pike. Consequently the first query after receiving 
such an order is, What is the probable length of the trip? When kept in 
ignorance of our destination, we are obliged to guess from the indications. 
If there is general hustling to get away and the halts are few and far 
between, we conclude we have a good distance to cover before reaching a 
camping place, and, usually, we find ourselves correct. 

Sunday, 10th. The week spent at Paint Lick was one full of enjoyment. 



FROM THE RAPPAHANNOCK TO THE MISSISSIPPI. 77 

though there has been mnch curiosity as to why bread and pork rations only 
have been issued. An early start was made, hence a long mar^rh was feared. 
Three miles out we passed through a little village called Lowell, a cluster 
of dwellings around a ''West India Qoods" store. Soon after noon at the 
eod of an easy twelve-mile march, Lancaster was discerned in the near 
distance. A little less than a mile from the town the brigade filed into 
the meadows on the right of the pike, and camp was established on one of 
the crests of the high rolling ground. The location was unsurpassed by 
any .occupied by the Seventh during its entire term; of service. It was the 
property of Gabriel J. Salter, a large landowner, a ''negro buyer," and a 
mule dealer. His fortune has since been dissipated. 

Tuesday, 12th. Dress parade at four p. m. Lancaster is a fair sample 
of the country towns of Kentucky. They were generally located at the inter- 
section of two turnpikes, and built around an open square styled Court 
HoQse Square, if the village chanced to be the county seat, otherwise it was 
simply termed the market place. Hither came the country people once a 
week with such produce, stock, and slaves as they had to sell to procure 
such other supplies as were needed, although in the towns each day was 
devoted to a special purpose. Thus, Saturday was always set apart for 
horse racing and other sports, and other days respectively to slave auctions, 
lire stock sales, dressed meat sales, grain, and vegetable sales, and carriage, 
harness, and farming implement sales. A storekeeper's stock was amazing 
in its amplitude. A comrade required some nails and asked to be directed 
to a hardware store. "If you want nails," said the Eentuckian, "I reckon 
Jon can get them in the building next the High School." Samples of 
bonnets, ribbons, and fancy goods were freely displayed in one of the win- 
dows, while inside could also be purchased molasses, susi>enders, ammuni- 
tion^ candy, hair for plastering, timothy seed, honey, coffins, and salt 
loackerel. Moreover, he exchanged goods for green hides and for real estate. 
These curious sights and varied spectacles, all of which could be witnessed 
here, save the slave auction, afforded genuine entertainment to us, Yanks. 
Around it with conspicuous regularity were grouped the churches, the hotels, 
the stores, the schoolhouses, also the courthouse and jail, if such there were. 
Oenerallj the buildings were unpretentious, some were rude log houses. At 
the time many of them were built the material used was riven in the neigh- 
boring forest or brought long distances by teams, a circumstance sufficiently 
discouraging to any thought of elaborate architecture; yet of times the public 
bnildings exhibited considerable taste. 

Thursday, 2l8t. The resignation of Gen. James Nagle, our brigade com- 
mander, on account of ill-health, and the succession of Col. Simon Q. Griffin, 



78 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

of the Sixth New Hampshire to the oommand, was announoed at dress 
parade. * 

Friday, 22d. Orders were issued to prepare three days' rations and to 
be in readiness to leave to-morrow morning. 

Saturday, 23d. The brigade was promptly formed, moved toward the 
town, passed around three sides of the public square, and then moved 
southerly toward Stanford. After covering twelve miles there was an un- 
usually long halt, during which we were ordered to proceed to Crab Orchard, 
four miles in advance, where we arrived about dark. Ab usual a halt was 
made just outside the little town for a brief rest, and then the column 
entered to the music of the band. There was the customary outpouring of 
the colored population, especially of the feminine and of the juvenile portion. 
When the Seventh had nearly reached the farther confine, it was detached 
and filled to the left down a road which extended a quarter of a mile east- 
ward and terminated at the fair grounds. Directly opposite this was a 
fenced, sloping, squsire meadow owned by H. W. Tarris, who had a son in 
the rebel army. Here tents were pitched. The balance of the brigade halted 
beside the pike nearly a mile south of the town, that evidently being the 
direction from which raids were expected. The spot was designated by the 
residents Camp New England. 

Sunday, 24th. The Seventh was located in a grove just west of the 
cockpit, a necessary adjunct to every Kentucky fair ground. This was an 
open structure, sixty feet in diameter, open at the sides from the eaves to 
the ground, and covered by a shingled circular roof supported at its circum- 
ference by posts, against which rested the top row of six tiers of seats all 
facing inward. It had been constructed around two mammoth oak trees 
that had been left standing in the centre. Just outside the pit there was 
an excellent spring of cold water, whence the raiment obtained its supply. 
Within, the sporting gentry of that section held their cockfights and their 
dogfights, which, with gambling uninterrupted, seemed to be the stated oc- 
cupation of a considerable number of the neighboring inhabitants. The fair 
grounds also contained an eliptical half-mile race track with a grand stand, 
horse stalls, and cattle pens. The day was spent in brushing up uniforms. 
Many took a bath in Dix Biver a half-mile back. Fish were abundant there 
and ere long the odor of their frying permeated the entire camp. Very soon, 
however, the men ceased to appreciate the beauties and the advantages of 
the location, for the soil was full of black fleas. Their favorite abiding 
place was the back and flanks of the swine that roamed at large through 
that region, but occasionally they wandered away and burrowed in the 
ground like ants. They were very active, and woe to the soldier who spread 



FROM THE RAPPAHANNOCK TO THE MISSISSIPPI. 79 

his blanket or reclined on soil or tarf where they flourished. They discovered 
him at once. They exhibited an aggressive disposition and a vigorons ap- 
petite. One could not sit in the cool shade or lonnge on the velvety grass. 
Even while standing the pests crawled np the trousers and nearly every man 
was busily occupied in keeping them oflF. The only comfort obtainable was 
on the tier seats of the cockpit. 

Monday, 25th. In the hope of escaping these insects the camp was 
moTed to the crest of a circular elevation within the race track and south- 
east of the cockpit. Though there was no shade the site was magnificent, 
but, alas! the pests had anticipated us. The location was promptly dubbed 
^Tlea Hill.'' 

Tuesday, 26th. To-day the men derived considerable sport from foot 
racing, either against comrades or against time. The officers of our own 
and other regiments also tested the speed of their several steeds upon the 
track. The quintessence of sport was attained when an athletic darky came 
with a mule to ride around it. The mule wouldn't go. With one buck the 
Qgly brute sent the saddle with its occupant half way down his neck. After 
long coaxing and walking around him to induce as much docility as possible 
the darky again mounted. The second discomfiture was worse than the 
firat. The mule bucked the saddle well-nigh to his ears and sped the rider 
on an serial flight that ended in some lofty tumbling. 

Wednesday, 27th. Ck>lonel Bliss returned from, Rhode Island to-day. 
Bergt William H. Barstow starts for home on a furlough. Fuller Dingley 
has received a second lieutenant's commission and has been assigned to Com- 
pany D. 

Thursday, 28th. Bain, the first since we were at Paint Lick GreA. 

Friday, 29th. The storm continues. 

Saturday, 30th. A fine day. 

Sunday, Slst Begiment mustered for pay for the last two months. 
We began to wonder how much longer we should remain and whither we 
would go. ' 

Crab Orchard was the metropolis of the surrounding country. It had 
been quite a slave mart; the next most profitable industry was pork raising 
for the Cincinnati market. Immense herds of wild s>vine roamed at will 
o?er the country, subsisting chiefiy upon the rewards of their own unceasing 
mnunaging and pertinacious industry. They invaded the camp search- 
ing every nook and corner for food. Comrades were obliged to be 
constantly on watch over their supplies, especially evenings. No provision 
bad been made for locking tents, hence food and wardrobe alike were open 
to intruders. Generally all valuables were carried on the person. If any 



80 SEVENTH KHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

were placed in concealment when we visited another camp, on our return 
we had the excitement of investigating our risk, and, perhaps, our losses. 
Sometimes unquestionably our suspicions turned in wrong directions, as 
might have been the case wtien one night I barely escaped the loss of my 
rations. My company was on the extreme left of the camp, and my tent the 
first in the outside row facing inward. A well-filled haversack was stowed 
away against the canvas just back of my head. How long I had been asleep 
I shall never know. I was wakened by unfamiliar sounds and a ripping of 
canvas at the pegs. With as clear a head as if I had never slept, but with 
beating heart and staring eyes, I watched and listened. All manner of im- 
pressive tales rushed suddenly to mind. Instinctively I stretched out one 
hand. It came in contact with the cowcatcher of an animal that responded 
to my caresses with expectant grunts. I had been well-nigh certain I was 
about to detect an old offender, but now recognized the fact that a new 
aggressor was to be dealt with. His hogship frequently gave a persevering 
grunt, backed off a step or two, and then would try it again, at times vary- 
ing the place, until he seemed to have located what had attracted him. 
Prom the gruff tones of his voice he now evidently was engaged in self-con- 
gratulation. None too promptly was recognized the faultless adaptation 
of that wedge-shaped head protruding from the thick neck and muscular 
shoulders. All sorts of funny ideas trooped through my brain as diminutive 
cyclones from his nostrils struck the ground below the edge of the canvas in 
front of my face, filling my eyes with flying dust. Evidently it was bis first 
experience of the kind ; certainly it was mine. Like myself he was conscious 
of the advantages derived from occasional reflection; both of us were en- 
couraged thereby. Again and more successfully he commenced to use his 
nose as a combination auger, lever, and battering-ram. With feelings akin 
to disgust and mortification, I again made a desperate reach for him. By 
chance instead I struck the handle of my fork. It was an opportune dis- 
covery. I never appreciated the utensil so much. I remembered how smooth 
and bright were its three tines, for during an entire year at the conclusion 
of each meal, I had churned them up and down at least half a dozen times 
in the soil. This rendered them faultless. Simultaneously it occurred to 
me that I had seen my father's neighbors prevent their porkers from using 
their noses too freely by boring a hole through the top with an awl, inserting 
a piece of wire and twisting the ends together to secure it in place. I had 
no wire but felt the preliminary operation would afford some relief, for 
with that thrcp-tined fork I could easily make three holes, and they ought 
to be enough i.o check bis rapacity. Meanwhile not for an instant did he 
desist from his defiant and vigorous investigation. At each toss of his head 



FBOM THE RAPPAHANNOCK TO THE MISSISSIPPI. 81 

there was an additional rip of the canvas at its fastenings. The clicking 
of his teeth and tnsks ominously suggested the fearful lacerations to be 
expected should he reach mj person. With all the hate my nature could 
contain I poised that fork like a swordsman preparing for his final thrust. 
One of my messmates exhibited indications of wakefulness, the other ceased 
enoring. The time for aggressive action on my part had arrived. I put all 
my strength into one supreme blow where I calculated the nose of the in- 
trnder was. There was a momentary whimpering sound, and, then to my 
intenise surprise, he rushed straight forward. I caught him by an ear and a 
foreleg. I clung to him like a water bug to a biscuit. With marvelous in- 
stinct he began to wriggle. It was no mild form of gymnastics we went 
through with, though there was a decided lack of space in which to display 
onr relative skill. We had nearly reached the finish in a kicking act when 
my blanket partners became somewhat aroused. One rose on his elbow and 
commenced reciting the '^Litany of the Saints," in a tone suggestive of the 
near presence of a Bengal tiger. The next instant the struggle for suprem- 
acy oollapsed our shelter. I never quite knew how it happened, but, finally, 
with a jump, he freed himself leaving me under the ruins. I scrambled out 
like a muskrat from a mud hole. By this time the adjoining portion of the 
camp was fully aroused and his hogship met opposition in every direction. 
He did not now seem to have any idea of injuring anybody or anything in 
particular, but just ran amuck for a general smashup of the tents. For 
the first fifty feet after his escape from me, his course was about the shape 
of the letter S. In the next fifty the curves had become angles. These 
became more and more acute as the men closed in upon him, until at last 
his movements were simalar to those of a twin-screw steamer endeavoring 
to turn on its centre. Despite a heavy shower of brickbats, some of which 
narrowly missed me, such was the excitement and confusion that he es- 
<^^ped without another person's having obtained more than a confused 
glimpse of him, while I found myself in a group of comrades listening to 
all sorts of comments on the nocturnal foray. My blanket partners, rubbing 
their sleepy eyes, said when they first awoke, they saw colored lights flying 
all around their heads, and demanded why I had not told them the pesky 
thing was fooling around outside. Next morning I discovered the three 
tines of my fork had broken off at their base and were missing. It remains 
to be guessed where they were. 

Though punishment was infrequent in the army, occasionally it was 
necessary. Bodily discomfort that did not infringe the laws of health was 
the chief penalty. The precise form was various. Confinement in the 
guardhouse was the most harmless and the most common ; the most brutal 

6 



82 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

was tying men np foj their tlinmbs so they were obliged to stand tiptoe. In 
fact it was practically suspending them by their thumbs. I frequently saw 
the punishment brought to a sudden termination by the interference of a 
superior officer. Between these two extremes, rank bucking and gagging, 
the knapsack drill, standing on a barrel in some conspicuous place, and the 
performance of camp drudgery. Whatever it might be, a sentry was as- 
signed the unpleasant duty of seeing it carried out. One of the most aggra- 
vating forms was the digging of a specified number of needless holes in the 
ground, the depth and breadth of a ispade. Each was to be filled before 
the next was commienced, and no rest was permitted except for a meal. Dur- 
ing the early part of this campaign the practice was inaugurated of mount- 
ing offenders astride a horizontal rail supported twelve or fifteen feet from 
the ground by trees or posts. This occasioned considerable amusement for 
visitors. Especially was the curiosity of the darkies centered thereon. Each 
was sure to advise his acquaintance to see it. Frequently there would be 
a dozen of them gazing up at the culprit asking him what he was up there 
for and how he liked it, while he angrily expressed his regret that there was 
nothing within reach that would serve his immediate purpose. Sometimes 
more than one was mounted on the same rail, when the interest would be 
correspondingly increased, though if they accepted the situation good 
naturedly and engaged in friendly sparring matches or pretentious rivalry 
in gymnastic feats they received at leaat the sympathy of their audience. 
To this punishment was given by the men the very discriminative designa- 
tion, '^Biding Black Horse Cavalry." At Paint Lick Creek it chanced one 
day the line was formed for dress parade facing the rail and at no great 
distance from it. Three men sat thereon, one of whom enjoyed the reputa- 
tion of turning every opportunity to his own advantage. He promptly con- 
vinced his fellow riders of their importance in the display by entering at 
once upon a series of comic acrobatic performances that convulsed the rai- 
ment with illy-suppressed merriment during the entire ceremony. It is 
scarcely needful to state that at future parades the horse, as it was termed, 
was unoccupied. The accompanying view was photographed at the guard- 
house of the Second Maryland B^ment of our brigade. Col. B. P. Taylor, 
and kindly loaned by him. 

June, 1863. 

Monday, 1st. Orders have been issued to turn in all extra baggage. 
The officers' baggage must not exceed thirty pounds each, and the men must 
carry but one change of clothing in the knapsack. Three days' rations are 




NATIONAL CEMETERY, CAMP NELSON, KY. 




"RIDING BLACK HORSE CAVALRY," UNDERGOING PUNISHMENT. 



FROM THE RAPPAHANNOCK TO THE MISSISSIPPI. 83 

to be placed in each haversack and five days' rations of hard-tack. It is 
evident there is rough campaigning ahead. 

Tuesday^ 2d. Extra baggage is sent to Gamp Nelson. 

Wednesday, 3d. Ten days' rations have been issued. Two pairs 
of shoes were given each man this afternoon. The men do not like the 
preparations for a (supposed) Tennessee campaign. 

Thursday^ 4th. To our amazement we started at daylight in the direc- 
tion of Lancaster and marched well-nigh continuously. After thirteen miles 
had been accomplished, there was a brief halt for dinner. The men com- 
plained when they again started, for they were becoming lame and footsore. 
They gulped at their canteens, fierce to drain every drop of water from them ; 
they polished their moist and swollen features with their coat-sleeves and 
bunches of grass. The column was enshrouded in clouds of dust. It was a 
cruel march, yet there was very little straggling, and, at sunset, we reached 
Camp Dick Robinson, six miles farther on. This was the first Union camp 
established in Kentucky and lies seven miles northwest of Lancaster. It 
was named from its owner, but in 1896 was the property of Lynn Herdson. 
The tall, moss-covered black walnuts that contributed so much toward ren- 
dering it an ideal resort, have since disappeared, as have most of the beauti- 
fal forests of that state. Just at hand on the south side of the pike was a 
lone grave protected by a board's length enclosure. It contained the mortal 
remains of Oen. William Nelson who was shot by Oen. Jeff C. Davis. Sub- 
sequently they were removed to the national cemetery at Gamp Nelson, on 
the opposite side of the Kentucky Biver. When lying around on the velvety 
grass indifferent to the future, some one passed through the camp shouting : 
'^The paymaster has come !" Had the entire rebel army pounced down the 
surprise would not have been greater. Every man's countenance instantly 
changed; all was excitement; doubts were freely expressed; but soon the 
men were called into line to sign the pay roll, when questionings ceased. 

Friday, 5th. Last night, water was quite a luxury, but early this morn- 
ing an underground spring was found, reached by a hundred descending 
steps. The supply was excellent and abundant, sufficient for breakfast and 
for filling canteens. Soon after 3.30 a. m. we started in the direction of 
Hickman's Bridge. Many of the men were so sore and lame they could 
scarcely hobble. Two or three miles out we passed two or three houses and 
a country storfe; think the settlement was dignified by the name of Browns- 
ville. Continuing the tramp we found the pike gradually descending to the 
wooded rocky shores of the Kentucky Biver. There was a long, winding, 
natural approach through immense perpendicular cleavings in the rock that 
sometimes actually overhung the roadbed. Thus was afforded a delightfully 



84 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

cool and refreshing shade. The bridge was a roofed, wooden structure of 
single span, constructed in 1838 by Lewis V. Wamwag, of Pennsylvania, 
and was standing in 1896. On entering and leaving it glimipses were 
obtained of the grandest scenery the command had yet beheld.. The 
wild, rugged clilS^s on either side, left an impression that the lapse 
of well-nigh twoscore years has failed to efface. Not far above is a 
cave in which Daniel Boone sought refuge from the Indians, and from 
which they in vain tried to drive him by smoke, while a bold and singularly 
shaped elevation near by is called Boone's Knob. The ascent from the bank 
proved cooler and more shady than the descent. A mile or more this side 
the crossing Camp Nelson was passed. Two miles short of Nicholasville 
the paymaster intercepted the regiment for the purpose of disbursing long- 
earned cash. It was filed to the left into a field, arms were stacked, and the 
men took a welcome rest, while company by company the ceremony pro- 
ceeded. To the surprise and amusement of all, the principal part of the 
payment was in whole sheets of postal currency. There were conspicuous 
displays of it. We all felt wealthy. One comrade spread out a lot of it on 
the ground for a bed and lying down called attention to the fact that he 
was rolling in ntoney. Meanwhile the Twelfth received orders to return to 
Camp Nelson and then proceed to Somerset, this, presumably, because their 
term of service had well-nigh expired. Just before six, the claims of all 
having been properly met, column was formed and the journey resumed. It 
was but a brief march to Nicholasville which was passed amidst considerable 
enthusiasm. While halting in the village street an old lady of strong 
Union sentiments came out to say good bye to the soldiers; she remarked 
to her neighbors, '^Burnside is going and now Morgan will come back and 
clean us out." The Seventh boys cheered her. Just beyond the depot, in 
a fine grove just north of and adjoining the railroad, bivouac was established. 
All expected a good night's rest and an early departure by rail. About 
midnight, however, the right wing under Lieutenant-Colonel Arnold left 
on a special train for parts unknown. 

Saturday, 6th. Soon after dinner a locomotive left standing at the 
depot exploded, killing John Leverett, Company C, Thirty-fifth Massachu- 
setts; Qeprge W. Oage, Company K, Ninth New Hampshire; William Bent- 
ley, Company A, Seventh Rhode Island, who was cook for the division com- 
mander, Oen. Samuel D. Sturgis, and one other soldier, besides wounding 
ten more. All were engaged in guarding or loading the military baggage. 
The injured were at once laid out on a grass plot and tenderly cared for. 
The writer chanced to be sitting on a fence at the camp beside the tracks 
and was hooking toward the depot when he saw the locomotive suddenly en- 



FROM THE RAPPAHANNOCK TO THE MISSISSIPPI. 85 

veloped in a cloud of steam and dust. The next instant the consequent re- 
port was heard. Both ends were blown out, it jumped ahead full fifty feet, 
cleared the tracks and landed on its side in the gutter. Samuel McAfee 
Duncan, a resident, distinctly heard the explosion though driving three 
miles distant, and states that six weeks after fragments of the engine were 
found two miles away. Soon after three o'clock the left wing under 
Colonel Bliss l>02*rded a train which passed Ijexington twelve miles distant 
just at dark, and reached Covington one hundred and ten miles away before 
light 

Sunday, 7th. Upon arrival we promptly debarked, marched to the 
ferry, crossed to Cincinnati and breakfasted at the Fifth Street Market. 
Toward midday we were conducted to the depot of the Ohio and Mississippi 
Railroad in the western portion of the city, and there boarded waiting cars 
which at six p. m. started us on the road to Cairo, 111. As the train sped 
along through the suburbs we noted that on the left the descent to the 
river was devoted to orchards and that the slope on the right was dotted 
with picturesque residences. We seemed particularly jolly for we sang and 
hurrahed and ^shouted at all the gatherings at crossings, the people re- 
turning our compliments with a yell, and, in a dialect peculiar to Western- 
ers, extending their best wishes. Whenever a stop was made rough hands 
were stretched through the open doors in cordial greeting. The road fol- 
lows the winding bank of the Ohio to Lawrenceburg, Ind., situated just 
over the line, and even to Aurora a little beyond. It was a series of high 
bluffs, the steep slopes of which having a southern exposure are covered 
with beautiful vineyards, gardens, and groves. Still westward rushed the 
train, stopping only for water or fuel or orders at an occasional junction, 
rumbling past towns where throngs had congregated to see the passing 
troops, dashing through fields of waving corn and dense woodlands where 
drooping trees brushed against the cars, presenting an ever changing pan- 
orama that held entranced our eyes as long as poor, human nature could 
endure the strain. At North Vernon, Seymour, Washington, and Vin- 
cennes, fruit and sandwiches were hurriedly passed into the cars. Ladies 
presented us with bouquets each having name and address aflOxed. In 
acknowledgmient of these favors the men flung out scraps of paper upon 
which some sentiment had been written with name and address also. 
This was an unlooked-for number on the programme. There was a great 
scramble for them. 

Monday, 8th. Early this morning the train seemed to be running 
through a cloud of mist; the train-hands informed us we were crossing the 
Wabash Biver. Beyond this the view was such as none of us had ever seen ; 



86 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

two threads of iron and a row of telegraph poles extending forward and 
rearward as far as the eye could reach and not a house or a tree in sight, 
but one immense prairie. Each little settlement had its crowded station , 
whose gathered residents welcomed the soldiers and extended a hearty God- 
8X)eed. During the forenoon we crossed the Little Wabash and about noon 
drew up at Sandoval Junction on the Illinois Central Railroad. Here a 
bountiful supply of refreshments consisting of cold meat, bread, coffee, tea, 
and oranges, were served by a corps of fair ladies; then an hour or more 
was allowed for strolling around and basking in the sun. Adams Murray, 
of Company E, improved the opportunity to purchase a suit of citizen's 
clothes and make tracks direct for England. About two o'clock we boarded 
another train which carried us directly southward. At a number of the 
towns the people were gathered to see the passing train. One town will ever 
be remembered because of its name — Aiina. Not until midnight did we vesuch 
the termination of our railroading, Cairo, the metropolis of southern 
Illinois, commonly known as Egypt, a strategic point of the utmost con- 
sequence and the key to the upper Mississippi. The cars were taken in on 
tracks laid on the top of the levee. We found ourselves in the midst of a 
very animated scene. On the one side were long lines of cars filled with 
men, horses, and mules, on the other a long line of steamers from whose 
stacks poured immense volumes of the densest smoke. Illuminating fires 
were burning at convenient intervals for a long distance, for the night was 
very dark and there was a good prospect of rain. There was a great din 
of preparation as the contents of the trains were rushed aboard the trans- 
ports. Of course the soldiers were the last to go on board. Just beyond 
them moored to the levee could be discerned an immense fleet of coal barges, 
while on the slope nearer the railroad were many large cannon lying around 
loose. Just as we left the cars a generous supply of white field beans were 
presented the company cooks. Immediately there was a consultation as to 
what should be done with them. The officers were very guarded in their 
advice. However, it was decided to commence cooking them at once. The 
men assisted the cooks in gathering fuel and starting new fires. Alas ! the 
order to fall in came before the beans were half cooked. Knowing they 
were going on board a boat the men assisted the cooks in removing them 
from the fire and carrying them on board. They were finally distributed to 
any and all who wished. Thus the Massachusetts boys secured a good 
share, and thus these underdone beans quickly disappeared. 




S«igt. Henry L. Mane. 



Corp. Henry C. Potter, 



Sergt. John N. Barber. 



Jonathan R. Clark. 



^'•S?.^-^"?'^ ^ Sergt. George W. Bennett. kt4i:G^T:BTtckel6er. S^rgTDavid BTwcscott 

SS* Sil^ricLowff **"• liyi-i'nT"/-!^^""- ?.*'«'• ^^ ^- Follenabce. Scrft! Samuel Mcllroy 

Corp. John F. Knowie*. Benjamin F. Joslin. George C. Beckford. Corp. Wm. A. Baker. 



CHAPTER V. 

The Mississippi Campaign. 
June 9 — August 17, 1863. 

TUESDAY, 9th. Themapine architecture on exhibition at Cairo at 
this time was assorted and, to ns New Englanders, unique. Beside 
the coal barges there were gunboats, mortar boats, palaoe river 
boats and stern-wheel tugboats. The right wing with the Birth New 
Hampshire and a part of the Thirty-fifth Massachusetts were already on 
the General Anderson, one of the largest vessels in the fleet, while we were 
assigned to the steamer Dove, one of the smallest. The Silver Moon had 
a calliope which frequently discoursed music — iron-clad music it was dis- 
courteously termed by the boys — for the benefit of the fieet. This instru- 
ment is a keyboard operating a series of steam whistles properly toned. It 
seemed an age before the transports were ready to depart. Not until gray 
dawn did the fiagship Imperial start on her southern mission, and a long 
Hne of graceful boats successively assumed their position in her wake. All 
the bands contributed their best toward the enlivenment of the occasion. 
The men were enthusiastic over their new transportation: no jolting, no 
dust, no seasickness, and yet aquatic scenery. The only unpleasant feature 
was the crowded condition of the boats. My own company was quartered 
on the main deck beside the engine, boilers, and fuel supply. In close prox- 
imity were the horses and mules. A light rain was falling that rendered 
this location preferable to one on the hurricane deck. All seemed indifl!er- 
ent to their destination. The musically inclined started up familiar, appro- 
priate songs, thus materially contributing to the exhilaration of the occa- 
sion. It was the season of comparatively low water and many spoke 
slightingly of the Father of Waters as it meandered through a comparatively 
narrow section of a very wide bed. For this very reason, however, the 
banks, more or less distant, and the levees loomed up prominently on 
either hand. The exposed bed was a blueish yellow clay fringed with a 
variety of rank green foliage. In some places the river was as motionless 
as water in a bath tub, and yet in passing the eddies at a bend in the river 



88 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

the boat would lurch so that several score of men were necessarily rushed 
to the elevated side of the boat in order to right it. This naturally kept 
the officers very watchful; they also had to see that no passing object of 
interest occasioned a sudden undue change of its centre of gravity, the boat 
being exceedingly sensitive in that particular. A member of the crew was 
continually on duty at the bow taking soundings. His announcements 
were quaint and almost unintelligible to all save the pilot. That which 
longest puzzled and occasioned the most discussion was "No bottom," when 
the lead kept the line taut. His tone was so monotonous and mournful, 
however, that the ceremony soon became tedious. There was a ripple of 
excitement when we passed Columbus and again as we espied Hickman, 
but the chief inquiries of the day were concerning Island No. 10. The 
islands in the Mississippi River are designated by numbers, commencing 
from Cairo. That at the mouth of Mayfleld Creek, on the Kentucky shore, is 
Island No. 1. As the hours passed the men wearied, for the scenery was 
almost changeless, each turn in the river revealing but an almost identical 
view. Aiter dark for a time they watched the beautiful, long, spreading 
trail of bright sparks pouring forth from the smokestacks and drooping 
gradually rearward to the water. But now the question is how to obtain 
a night's rest, how even to partake of an evening meal. In almost utter 
darkness we had to search our haversacks for food; in equal darkness and 
amid a confused mass of knapsacks, blankets, overcoats, canteens, equip- 
ments and muskets we were obliged to make such beds as we could. Borne 
sat crosslegged and rested their heads on their haversacks ; some laid criss- 
cross as one piles dumb-bells upon the other ; indeed all improbable attitudes 
were assumed. Some roving comrades manifested themselves who fre- 
quently stepped on the faces and stomachs of the sleepers, promptly receiv- 
ing therefor commensurate greetings and implied accusations concerning 
unaccountable missing rations. Suddenly there was a horrible alarm. 
"Man overboard !" was shouted, and the man with the lead sung out in his 
usual tones, "No bottom." Uz Cameron, cook of Company G, walked or 
stumbled overboard just forward of the starboard paddle wheel. He was 
not intoxicated. Some said he was asleep or dazed. The boat was stopped 
and search instituted, but he could not be found. It was believed the wheel 
struck him causing insensibility. There was little rest during the remain- 
der of the night, though ere long the engine ceased pulsating and the craft 
was moored at Island No. 10. 

Wednesday, 10th. The boat resumed its trip before any of the soldiers 
were stirring. The sun early broke through the morning mists and the day 
was clear and bright. Midforenoon we passed fifty miles above Memphis, 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. 89 

Fort Pillow, then only a boat landing, bnt afterward immortalised by the 
massacre of its entire colored garrison by the rebel generals Forrest and 
Chalmers, April 14, 1864, exactly one year prior to President Lincoln's 
assassination. Toward noon a cloud of smoke overhanging the river 
indicated our approach to Memphis. Then the confused coloring of its 
bnildings could be distinguished soon to be individually identified a0 well a0 
the double stacks of the boats at its landing. Finally, after passing Wolf 
Biver, the Dove swung a curve across the river and heading up ran its nose 
to the levee sandwiching itself between two craft already moored. The 
slope from the front street to the river was broad, smooth, hard, and 
gravelly. Apparently as much business waB transacted there aa on a 
dozen New York piers. Immense quantities of army supplies were stacked 
there ready for shipment down the river. Piled in one mammoth heap 
and remaining there in 1896 wa» the chain cable stretched across the river 
at Randolph, sixty miles above. It had rested on anchored floats and wa£i 
constructed of three chains, the links of which were of inch and a half iron. 
Near the Tennessee shore there was a gap for the passage of Confederate 
vessels protected by a heavy battery. While the steamer waa coaling up, 
the men obtained permission to go ashore. There was quite a supply of 
fruit in the market and many invested largely in fresh provisions. The 
centre of attraction seemed to be a small park in which was a monument to 
President Jackson, unveiled in 1859. It was a granite shaft apparently 
seven feet high and sixteen inches square, surmounted by a bust of the old 
hero, facing the west, the Great River. The inscription on the north side 
was noticeable alike for its location, its nature, and its treatment. It was 
his immortal declaration abbreviated : "The Federal Union, It must be pre- 
semred." The words "and shall" were conspicuous for their absence. 
The word "Federal" had been badly hacked and disfigured. The chance 
position of the motto transformed it into a singularly significant appeal to 
the North to preserve the South from the consequences of its folly and its 
crime. 

On the sail down it was noticed some of the crew had lines dragging 
astern. Occasionally one would haul in a fish. Certain of the boys caught 
on to this idea and supplied themselves with hooks and stout twine, which 
were utilized during the remjainder of the journey and some retained them 
for use even upon the return trip two months later. The writer remembers 
to have seen on another boat a catfish thus caught that weighed one hun- 
dred and sixty pounds. Before evening the entire fleet of transports had 
arrived, the activity on the levee had materially diminished, and the officers 
were careful that every man was on board. All expect an early start in 



90 SEVENTH BHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

the morning, and each man cautions others to rouse him at a seasonable 
hour. 

Friday, 12th. Just at daybreak it was evident to all that the fleet would 
soon be under way, for columns of the blackest kind of smoke belched forth 
in puffy rolls from the steamers' stacks. Soon a boat backed out from be- 
tween the others, swung its prow into the main channel and gracefully 
commenced her journey down the river followed by the others in r^ular 
order. Just prior to the departure of a vessel there was a great confu- 
sion of bells, whistles, and calliopes. The bands all played '^John Brown's 
Body." The scene unquestionably inspired our chaplain, Rev. Harris 
Howard, who was with the right wing, to compose the 

SONG OF THE NINTH ARMY CORPS. 

A fleet of splendid steamers. 

Floating in their pride, 
With music sweUing over^ 

The Mississippi's tide, 
Speed a band of soldiers 

To the battle-scene below : 
On the way to Yicksbnrg, 

We sail from Ca-i-ro. 

Our steamer is the Anderson — 

The gallant hero's name 
Whose banner waved o'er Sumter, 

The first in treason's flame. 
'Twas there the rebel war began : 

To finish it we go : — 
On the way to Vicksburg, 

We sail from Ca-i-ro. 

We left our noble Bumside 

And the beautiful Kentucky, 
To go down to Mississippi 

To General Grant, the plucky. 
Our cause and our commanders 

True, lead patriots to go : 
On the way to Vicksburg, 

We sail from Ca-i-ro. 

From this ^^ father of the waters," 

To the Father of us aU, 
As we go to fight the traitors. 

For assistance we will call. 
Our father's God may help us 

To strike the final blow : 
On the way to Vicksburg, 

We sail from Ca-i-ro. 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. 91 

All the biaye will live in stoiy 

For the gallant part they bore 
To save our nation^s glory, 

In the old Ninth Army Corps. 
O, ye winds and waters, speed us, 

As steaming on we go : 
On the way to Vicksbaig, 

We sail from Ca-i-ro. 

As we moved down the river evidences of approach to sub-tropical 
r^ons became more numerous. The country on each side seemed an end- 
less swamp with scarcely a hnman inhabitant, or, indeed, a spot where one 
conld make a home. It was the most desolate country we had yet seen. 
Barely a trace of cultivation could be discovered, but everywhere a dense 
mass of luxuriant vegetation. The closer we approached the banks the 
better could be discerned the inextricable matting of branches. One tree 
especially attracted attention because of its roots, so considerable a portion 
being above water and intertwined like an enormous knot of serpents. But 
even these became painfully monotonous. At noon a halt was made at 
Helena to enable the fleet that had straggled somewhat to reassemble. Al- 
though the masters of vessels and the officers in com;mand had been warned 
that firing from guerrillas might be expected below this point, no evidence 
of hostility has as yet been manifest. Late in the day a point was reached 
where the land on either side instead of rising from the stream sank below 
it. Let the levee once be broken down and all hope must be abandoned for 
perchance a hundred miles, the country being likely to be submerged to 
that extent. At night all moored between the White and the Arkansas 
Rivers. 

Saturday, 13th. This morning there is evident effort to keep the boats 
togeth^ and some caution is exhibited about the men exposing themselves. 
The pilot houses are protected with sheet iron plates; some of their inmates 
are suspected of sympathizing with the rebels. During the forenoon, before 
reaching Columbia, as the steamer leading us, and distant about a quarter 
of a mile, was running close in shore at a bend in the channel and was 
passing a belt of thick timber, a party of guerrillas opened fire with rifles 
from the foliage. Some shots were fired at us, for two struck the boiler 
with a loud noise near a comrade engaged in washing his linen. There was 
intense excitement for a while. At one point we saw where a long stretch 
of river bank had caved in carrying with it a number of trees and some 
cattle. The planter was out with ropes and negroes rescuing the latter 
from their perilous position. B^ause of the short, sharp twists in the 



92 SEVENTH KHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

channel at various places to-day, steamers could be seen in almost every 
direction sailing on all courses. Our captain stated that we literally made 
all the points of the compass. Late in the evening the fleet arrived at 
Milliken's Bend and moored near a contraband camp. Here the artillery 
firing at Vicksburg could be clearly heard and the flash of the guns as well 
as the burning fuses of the mortar shells as they hovered in mid-air could 
plainly be discerned. The consequent excitement as well as the visitation 
of certain insects effectually debarred sleep. 

It was at Vicksburg the first gun was fired in the Great Rebellion. 
Four days after the Mississippi legislature had passed the so-called Ordi- 
nance of Secession, t. e.^ on Jan. 13, 1861, as the steamer Tyler^ afterwards 
a well known Union gunboat, was passing on her way to New Orleans, a 
four-pound ball suddenly sped across her bow from a bluff just below the 
city. The Quitman Artillery had been stationed there with instructions to 
intercept all vessels coming down stream that had not there made a landing. 
It was supposed the national government would attempt to send military 
supplies to its garrisons below, and, naturally, the rebels desired to secure 
them for their own use. The dishonor of first firing on the flag is claimed by 
one Horace Miller, of the firm of Marshall & Miller, Attorneys-at-Law. The 
cannon was sent to Washington in July, 1866, for preservation as a war 
relic. 

Sunday, 14th. Early this forenoon the steamers hauled up at Sher- 
man's Landing, a military post on the Louisiana side of the river some five 
miles above Vicksburg and near the celebrated canal which was expected to 
turn the Mississippi but didn't. The men were glad to debark and obtain 
space suflScient to stretch themselves. We marched over the high levee and 
bivouacked in an old cotton field. It had been frequently used for camping 
purposes and abounded in pestilential odors. All were rejoiced to receive 
orders to march next morning. The Eighth Louisiana Colored Troops were 
on duty here. There were fine opportunities for investigation and but little 
restraint during the remainder of the day. Just below the landing the 
mortar fieet was moored from which was thrown with precision and regu- 
larity into the city, which was in plain view, the largest shells. There was 
an illuminating flash, a roar, then a shooting upward, with the rapidity of 
lightning and at an angle of forty-five degrees, a small globe of golden 
flame, not a steady unfading light, but coruscations like the fitful gleam of 
a firefly, now visible and anon invisible, flying up and still up, higher and 
yet higher, slower and slower, until at length on reaching its utmost 
altitude where the force of the projection is overcome by that of gravity, 
it enters upon the descending arm of the parabolic curve, dropping faster 



MAP 

or THE COUNTRY BfTIWCEN 
shewing the Routes folIowMl by the 

ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE 

UNOCR THE COMMAND OF 

Maj. Gen' U.S.GRANT. U.S.Vol? 

in its MATclirroin Millikcns Bend to the ReArof Vicksburfi' 

in April and May 1863^ 

Scojfe '*H/nd\; to lA& mife^ 




THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. 93 

and yet faster, lower and Btill lower, until at last it bnrsts over the works 
of the enemy or buries itself deep in the ground before exploding. Near 
by on the other hand, was a large camp of negro refugees of each sex and 
of all ages, from tiny babes to the old and decrepid. Not an entire suit of 
genuine darky clothes could be found in the entire crowd. Few had suffl* 
cient to cover their nakedness. One of their number had recently died and 
the funeral exercises were held this afternoon. An old colored preacher 
first offered prayer with genuine negro simplicity and dialect. Then fol- 
lowed a sermon consisting of grotesque scriptural elucidations intermingled 
with exhortations, interrupted at times by lamentations and hallelujahs 
from the congregation. Another prayer was offered and a hymn sung by 
the mourners as they stood around the grave. These worked themselves by 
their shoutings into a frenzy of excitement, though previously deporting 
themselves very solemnly. The ceremony was laughable and yet pathetic 
beyond description. Vicksburg is called the City of Hills, but it would be 
equally appropriate to style it the City of Ravines. During a rain storm 
the water not infrequently cuts gullies through the highways twelve or 
fifteen feet deep. At other times the dust is unbearable. Built on a bluff 
formation and rich in gardens, it presents a picturesque appearance from 
the river and especially from DeSoto Point on the opposite shore, though 
its outskirts are dotted with negro huts. The courthouse, a large, white 
marble building with lofty dome, is, of course, the most prominent feature, 
though several churches and large public buildings were in distinct view. 
Charred ruins, an effect of the shelling, could be discerned with a glass. 

Monday, 15th. It had been understood we were to re-enforce Qeneral 
Grant's left by marching across the narrow neck of land west of the city 
formed by the bend in the river and thence ferrying across. We were not 
surprised, therefore, after receiving three days' rations, to be routed out at 
two A. M., and at daybreak started southward over Grant's corduroy road 
constructed through the swamp and over which his entire army passed. By 
its side was the unfinished canal. The opposite landing only four miles 
distant was soon reached and two regiments crossed the river. They were 
promptly sent back, and about midafternoon the entire command was 
ordered to last night's camping ground. This movement was executed 
according to one account in just forty-seven minutes. The water here was 
very poor ; it smelled like water from a stagnant frogpond or a stable yard. 
The men said it could not be used to shave with. The best obtainable was 
from the river. 

It chanced that the gunboat Benton was anchored in the river near the 
Warrenton or lower landing, and was at regular intervals firing a shell into 



94 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

the city. Now Joseph Taylor, of Company E, had a brother on board that 
craft and naturally was anxious to see him. Having sought in vain proper 
permission he concluded to make the^ visit on his own responsibility. In 
answer to his signals a small boat came ashore and asked what was wanted. 
Having stated his wish he was informed that there were three men on board 
by that name, that they could not convey him there except by the captain's 
orders, but if he permitted they would return for him. The naval officer 
proved more tractable than his own, and ere long he had the pleasure of 
taking his brother by the hand, though never having seen him in uniform 
he at first scarcely recognized him. After a brief visit Taylor was returned 
to the landing only to find that the regiment had left for the upper landing. 
He reached there just in time to see it sail on the steamer 8t. Louis. Ob- 
serving Samuel N. Benjamin's r^ular battery embarking he resolved to 
accompany it, feeling sure it would follow the brigade. His guess was a 
shrewd one. On reaching Haynes Bluff Taylor inquired of some Western 
troops where the Ninth Corps was camped, and was promptly informed they 
had never heard of the Ninth Army Corps. Accordingly he started out on 
the only wagon road leading from the bluff and soon espied its headquarters 
flag. There he learned the location of his regiment and soon reported for 
duty. He was at once sent to the guard house. When Colonel Bliss ob- 
served him there he asked the cause. When informed he ordered Taylor to 
go to his company and also to tell his captain the colonel wished to see him. 
From that time on Taylor says the captain turned him the cold shoulder* 

Tuesday, 16th. This morning the two divisions of the Ninth Corps 
were ordered on transports. The Seventh embarked on the large steamer 
8t. Louis. It was one p. m. when the signal to start was given. They 
headed up stream and entered the mouth of the Yazoo twelve miles above 
Vicksburg on the same side. The change in the appearance of the water was 
at once noticeable ; it was clearer and of a greenish oolor, apparently much 
better, yet said to be very poisonous. Indeed, its name is the Indian ver- 
nacular for poisoned river. Near its mouth the serpentine channel seemed 
to course along the crest of a ridge flanked by immense swamp thickets, but 
as we proceeded up stream the land became higher and dryer, and a forest 
of heavy timber reached to the water's edge. The trees were festooned with 
Spanish moss and wild vines, conspicuous among which was the trumpet 
vine, then in full flower. Still farther up covered with a rank growth of 
briers there were steep bluffs broken by intersecting bayous. This trip of 
twenty-one miles up the Yazoo was made during a heavy thunderstorm. 
The boat was exceedingly crowded ; there was room for but few to sit and 
for none to recline. Many were exposed to the violent storm and became 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. 95 

thoroughly drenched. Jnst before night the steamer moored at Haynes 
Bluff, three miles above Bnyder's Bluff, but it was too late to debark and 
establish camp, so we slept on the boat as best we conld. Some Western 
troops were occupying this position. When they learned the men afloat 
were from the Army of the Potomac, they came down to see what manner 
of folks we were. At once chafBng conversation sprang up between the two 
commands. The Westerners shouted, ^^Bull Bun!" and '^Fredericksburg!" 
but were told in reply, ^'Burnside sent us down here to show you how to fight 
and drive the rebs!" One fellow called out to his comrade to come and view 
the first live Yankee he had ever seen. 

Wednesday, 17th. The sun arose hot and dry. We also arose and just 
as early for we were anxious to get off the boat. But little time was 
afforded to inspect the rebel works in which their old cannon still remained, 
though mostly dismounted. We marched to the top of the slope and halted 
for a brief space enabling us to survey our surroundings, the riv^, the 
transports, and the broken country back. At length we started down behind 
the bluff, and, after a hot march of three miles, near the reverse line of the 
army besieging Vicksburg, camped on the level bottom of a wide ravine on 
the northwest side of the road. The men had little energy left for the 
erection of tents. Two long lines of blankets draped on the bayonets of 
stacked muskets served as parasols and beneath their shade we lounged. 
The location was known as Thornberry Hollow and is about one-half mile 
west of Milldale. This latter spot derived its name from* the circumstance 
that during a few years preceding the Bebellion there stood here a gristmill 
and a cotton gin under the same roof run by water power from Bkillakalia 
Creek at its crossing of the Vicksburg Pike, so-called. There was also a 
tanyard adjoining. These, of course, had been destroyed by our troops. 
The property belonged to the widow of Henry Pinder, an Englishman 
recently deceased, who occupied with her son, Daniel H. and his family, 
the plantation directly in rear of Mr. Haynes. Their mansion was about 
half a mile east of the Vicksburg Pike and on the west side of a road that 
intersected the Vicksburg Pike at Milldale. Oenerals Grant and Blair 
spent some time here. Daniel H. died July 19, 1896, aged about seventy- 
five years, from a fall three days previous which fractured his thigh. The 
plantation below Mr. Haynes was owned by Adam John Snyder, an Ohioan 
by birth, who married a southern lady whose parents were also of northern 
lineage. His house was burned by the Union soldiers. His name was 
given to a bluff and landing, which subsequently fell into disuse on account 
of the construction of the Memphis and New Orleans railway which crosses 
the Tazoo at Cardiff about half a mile below the bluff. The next three 



96 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

plantations which extended to Chickasaw Bayou were owned by a Mr. 
Blake. It may be proper here to remark that when Mississippi was settled 
it was divided into sections called shares and half shares, a share being one 
square mile or 640 acres. While some farms were composed of one or 
several shares, others contained but a half or a quarter share. 

Thursday, 18th. This morning the men watched the great red rim of 
the hot sun heave up from the horizon and hurled blessings and curses at it 
according to the individual utterer, but probably with identical significa- 
tion. They slowly prepared breakfast and then pitched their tents most of 
them over a brink or couch of cane slats raised a few inches from the ground. 
The natives called these beds "wicky ups;" they were originally contrived 
by the slaves. The camp ground seemed ideal. The little stream that ran 
beside it opposite from the road afforded opportunity for a good bath and the 
washing of clothing which with the rest and quietude was thoroughly 
enjoyed. A few were inclined to examine the surrounding country. They 
found in the Yazoo and its tributaries above Haynes Bluff the wrecks of 
thirty-two steamers and gunboats that had been destroyed lest they should 
fall into the hands of the Federal authorities. 

Saturday, 20th. A refugee contraband camp has been established 
directly across the road from our camp beneath some big cottonwood trees 
at the foot of steep hills. A negro recently from the city was asked how 
he would like to be back again. After scratching his head and rubbing his 
shins he replied that he was over there a spell ago and trusted the Lord 
to get him over here and He done it, but he did not care to trust the Lord to 
do it again. 

Sunday, 21st. Early this afternoon General Grant and staff rode past 
camp going in the direction of Vicksburg. It was rumored that he had 
called on our corps commander. General Parke, whose headquarters were 
at the Whately House, a little southwest of Milldale, near the Skillettsgo- 
liath Creek, to confer as to the part the Ninth Corps should take in the siege. 
The party was enveloped in clouds of dust, their uniforms were invisible, 
and we did not know its identity until it had passed. 

The tremendous showers at this camp will be remembered. The sky 
which had been radiant in tropical splendor changes through leaden gray 
to blackness as an inky cloud bursts forth from the horizon. There are lovr 
mutterings of distant thunder which increase in volume as they rapidly 
near the camp. A shiver creeps through the forest. The tempest advances 
as one running. The dust rises in whirlwinds blinding man and beast. The 
trees sway to and fro sweeping the ground with their branches; some are 
snapped in twain; the air is filled with flying splinters and fragments of 




WICKEY ri\s/' 



Bunks constructed of cane or saplin<j slats a sliort distance above tlie ground. Over 
tlicm were spread shelter tents whereby a dry resting place was secured for the occupant. 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. 97 

foliage ; countless tents are torn in shreds and the whole camp is in wildest 
confusion. All at once over that wind, over that dnst, cmshing ererythingy 
drowning everything, the rain descends in sheets, a veritable cataclysm. 
The rate of precipitation was altogether too extreme for the camp grade. 
The little stream that ordinarily was but a purling rivulet became a rushing 
river. It overflowed its banks and submerged all the lowland. The flood 
rushed in, under and around the tents, bearing sticks, rails, grassy sods, 
tufts of moss, clusters of green leaves, even mess-pans, camp kettles, and 
camp furniture, while with every succeeding gust of wind the enormous 
Cottonwood trees threshed their great tops together with a roar that could 
be heard above that of the storm. The men stood under their dog tents 
pitched on stilts and with muskets poked the driftwood aside joking mean- 
while with next door neighbors, though the sharp crack of huge branches 
as they were torn from the trees and the peculiar splash of water 
dashed against the canvas were anything but reajssuring. The suddenness 
and intensity of this shower, revealed a new nature as it were, so terriflc in 
the display of its unmeasured force men found themselves as insignificant 
as the brutes, who are incapable of reasoning, and, like them, were compelled 
unresistingly to endure. As suddenly as it sprang up, the wind ceased to 
blow and the hurricane of a moment ago was succeeded by a deathlike 
Egyptian stillness. But immediately there is another day-dawn, the sun 
returns, the scene is beautiful and refreshing; the flood quickly subsides, 
the camp is replete with martial activity, the men replace the tents that 
have succumbed to the gale and inspect the fastenings of those that have 
murvived the storm. All this, however, was but a repetition of the experi- 
ence of a rebel force encamped upon the same si)ot one year ago. 

Monday, 22d. Until favorable news was received from Gettysburg, 
great apprehension was expressed by the soldiers around Vicksburg, and 
especially by those from the east, regarding the rebel invasion of Maryland 
and Pennsylvania. At five p. m. the brigade started on a march over the 
hills easterly through Grant's reverse line of breastworks, a distance of five 
miles, where we bivouacked. It was understood the object of this expedition 
was to gain some definite information as to the position and extent of Gen. 
Joe Johnston's army that was threatening our rear and occasioning con- 
siderable apprehension. 

Tuesday, 23d. The march easterly was resumed this morning along 
the Benton Boad. After proceeding four miles we found the road blockaded 
and the bridge across Clear Creek burned. The pioneers quickly removed 
obstructions and repaired the bridge, when we pushed ahead five miles 
farther and bivouacked beside the road near the residence of a Mrs Camp- 

7 



98 seventh: bhodb island infantry. 

bell, the headquarters of the Seventeenth Corps, Gen. W. H. Smith, whose 
first division here constituted our exterior line. Our road this day had lain 
chiefly through a forest of immense oaks and beautiful magnolias. The 
sweet singing of the birds, the freshness of the vegetation and the fragrance 
of the flowers were restful in their influence, and suggestive of anything but 
war. It waa showery before midnight. 

Wednesday, 24th. The night was very hot ; tarried here all day ; strong 
pickets are thrown out to prevent surprise. 

Thursday, 25th. Reveille at 3.30 a. m. After an early breakfast the 
brigade started for Big Black River. The weather was very hot and the 
country hilly, occasionally wooded. After six miles we struck the edge of 
a forest which extended a number of miles to the bluffs which bordered 
Bear Creek, a tributary of the Big Black. Here we left our knapsacks in a 
blackberry pasture. The creek was then crossed on logs, the bridge having 
been burned, and we pushed on a mile and a half farther through a country 
well adapted to ambuscades. The advance was made cautiously; woods and 
ravines alike were thoroughly explored by scouting parties. It was evident 
we were advancing against a considerable force likely to give battle at any 
time, or against an unknown force. At length at a junction of two roads 
the Sixth New Hampshire tarried, while the Ninth proceeded down the right 
hand road and we down the left. After, advancing half a mile toward 
Mechanics ville line was formed across the road and we commenced felling 
trees and throwing up earthworks in case of an attack from the enemy^s 
pickets which were known to be not far distant. Deep ditches were exca- 
vated from side to side. Captain Allen was sent back with Company A to 
assist Captain Ely of the Sixth New Hampshire in his work. After three 
hours the regiment was ordered to fall back to where our knapsacks had been 
left, but as we frequently stopped at favorable points to obstruct the road in 
all conceivable ways, they were not regained until dark. It was 10.30 p. m. 
when the final halt was ordered, a little past the previous night's camping 
ground. But seventy-five men were in line. The total distance covered was 
said to have been upwards of thirty miles. The day was the hottest on 
which the Seventh had ever marched; the evening was extremely warm 
and the return very rapid. The men became much discouraged long before 
bivouac was ordered. Rarely has a rear guard had so severe a task twisting 
around obstructions sometimes at the double-quick. It was esteemed for- 
tunate that no " Jeb" Stuart or Colonel Moseby was around to pick up strag- 
glers and generally to harass or annoy. This reconnoissance satisfied our 
commander that General Johnston's troops were on the other side of the 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIOK. 99 

Big Black. We, therefore, had accomplished our misBion, and, ihvm oonsoled, 
were soon asleep. 

The importance of this foray will be more adequately appreciated by a 
brief reference to what occurred this day at Vicksbnrg. Within that city, 
directly south of and adjacent to the road leading thence to Jackson, was 
the highest land within many miles. Previous to the siege it was known as 
High Hill, but when the rebels threw up entrenchments necessary to their 
defence, it became the key to their position and was designated Fort Hill. 
Of course, this was Grant's objective and an almost continuous succession of 
ajBsaults was made thereon. These proving almost fruitless a quadruplez 
mine was constructed beneath it by Gapt. Andrew Hickenlooper, chief of en- 
gineers to General McPherson. This was exploded about 3.30 p. m. The 
Forty-fifth Illinois and the Twenty-third Indiana of General Leggett's brig- 
ade instantly dashed toward the crater thus made on the right and left, 
respectively, of the Jackson road, and, after a short hand-to-hand contest, in 
which the bayonet was freely used gained a position within it. The engineer 
corps went to work at once throwing up entrenchments for the protection 
of the fighters, and shelter was provided with reasonable promptitude. The 
contest raged fiercely during the entire night, an important part of the fight- 
ing being done with hand grenades, twenty-four pound shell with five-second 
fuses, which were easily rolled over the embankment. The Johnnies 
were not asleep, however, and some were actually hurled back before 
exploding, inflicting ' damage on our own men. The musketry fighting 
at this time was carried on by our men raising the butts of their pieces over 
their heads and firing, it being impossible to expose one's self for an instant 
without immediate death. SulBcient artillery was finally brought to bear 
npon the point to render it untenable to the enemy; the key to the rebel 
works was in our possession, and the question of surrender had become 
simply a question of terms. It was our province to see that this little pro- 
gramme was not interfered with. 

Friday, 26th. A very warm day. The men are slowly moving around, 
weary and sore from yesterday's cruel march. Stragglers are dropping in 
all the forenoon. There is quite a crop of blackberries in this neighborhood 
on which we feast. For water, however, we have to go half a mile. A partial 
mail has come to hand, the first since leaving Grab Orchard, Ey. The re- 
freshment and encouragement thereby afforded can only be appreciated by 
those who have been similarly circumstanced. The cloud pictures, sunset 
and evening, are beautiful. A large fire was noticed in the direction of the 
Big Black. ^ 

Saturday, 27th. This morning the men pitched their tents to shelter 



100 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

them from a violent shower ; afterwards they explored the adjacent country, 
finding apples, plums, peaches, and berries in considerable quantities. Lieu- 
tenant Moore is ordered to the Milldale camp to bring up stra^lers and 
muster rolls. All day long, artillery firing at Vicksburg ten miles southwest 
from here, could be distinctly heard. Edward Larkin and Sergeant Barstow 
killed a rattlesnake they had discovered three feet long with six rattles, 
and consequently eight years old. It was a beautiful specimen, clean and 
bright colored. For variety's sake dress parade is held in the company 
streets. 

Sunday, 28th. Reveille at 5.30 a. m. The air is clear, cool, and refresh- 
ing. Inspection took place in the company streets. But little firing was 
heard from Vicksburg and that was in the early part of the day. The im- 
pression prevails that it is decidedly slackening. Captain Allen took his 
company out in front of camp, appointed as adjutant a sergeant and as 
line officers ten privates, and went through the form of regimental dress 
parade therewith. 

Monday, 29th. Muster rolls for May and June were made out on a por- 
tion of an old table-top procured by Captain Allen from an old house. 
While gathering apples to stew from a tree covered with grapevines, I dis- 
covered another rattlesnake amidst its branches, but with the assistance of 
Ralph Beaumont and Charles Humes promptly rendered him harmless. 
Company A went on picket this evening, four poets. 

Tuesday, 30th. Men stirring at four a. m. Sky cloudy. All wish for 
rain but the clouds disappear. The sun's rays are hot. The regiment is 
mustered. Captain Joyce with Company F relieves Captain Allen and 
Company A. Late one evening the men were quietly hustled out of camp, 
and, cautiously, apparently anxiously, advanced eaBtwardly along the road 
in the dense darkness. They were warned to preserve the utmost quietude. 
There were starts and stops again and again. We went forward more than 
a mile, but discovering nothing returned. The movement consumed most of 
the night. 

Wednesday, 1st. Reveille sounded at four a. m. While the days are 
very hot the nights are agreeably cool and the air quite damp, so much so 
that every morning the men hang their blankets in the sun to dry. This 
morning Varnum H. Dawley treated his blanket as usual and then returned 
to his tent for his knapsack. As he raised it he discovered beneath a large 
coiled rattlesnake which instantly gave a shrill rattle. Dawley naturally 
was considerably surprised, and, as this was the first time he had met one 
at home, he promptly retired outside. Arming himself with a club he cau- 
tiously advanced and investigated. After a vigorous combat he slew his 





COL. PERCY DANIELS. 



CAPT. GEORGE A. WILBUR. 





MAJ. ETHAN A. JENKS. 



MAJ. THOMAS F. TOBEY. 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIOK. 101 

unwelcome guest, which proved to be three and a half feet long and posciea- 
sed of eighteen rattles. These have been carefully preserved as a reminder of 
the night when he slept with a rattler under his knapsack pillow. 

At five A. M. we were on the road, the Seventh on the right of the brig- 
ade. After marching three miles over hills and through cornfields, we halted 
on W. Neelej's plantation twelve miles from Vioksburg. Five hundred 
men were detailed from the brigade to cut trees and construct breastworks. 
The entire line of which, this formed but a part, extended from Haynes Bluff 
on the Yazoo to Oak Bluff below Vicksburg, a distance of fourteen miles. 
It was completed in less than sixty hours. 

Our camp ground was a little clearing adjacent to and north of the 
road; we occupied the eastern portion, another regiment the western. Back 
of them was a huge pile of boxed ammunition under a canvas cover. A 
path ran rearward down a steep descent at the foot of which in the thick 
cool shade was a beautiful spring. On the south side of the road was fenced 
cultivated land. Chaplain Harris Howard, having resigned, departs for 
Rhode Island. Corp. Samuel E. Bice is detailed acting postmaster, Sergt 
Edwin B. Allen as clerk at division headquarters. 

Gapt. Ethan A. Jenks was one of the oflicers out with the detail from 
this regiment to fell trees. On his return at night he was sent for by 
Colonel Bliss then in command of the brigade, and informed that he had 
been dismissed from the service of the United States. The colonel directed 
him to turn over all government property to Lieutenant Hunt, and stated 
that he had initiated the proper proceedings to secure for him a pass from 
army headquarters on a steamer sailing up the river. This was the first in- 
timation the captain had received that anyone held aught against him. 
When his fellow oflicers learned of his misfortune they at once formulated 
the following paper, which appeared in the Providence Journal of July 17, 
1863: 

SbVBNTH RseiMBNT R. I. VOLUHTBBBS, 

In Gamp itbab Vioksbubg. 
July 2, 1863. 

We, the undersigned, commissioned officers of the Seventh Regiment R. I. Volunteers, 
haying learoed with serious regret of the dismissal of Captain Ethan A. Jenks from the 
military service of the United States, for some cause to himself or us unknown, and, with- 
oat due notice or trial by court-martial, take this method, on his departure from our midst 
of giving expression to our high appreciation of his sterling integrity, lofty patriotism, 
and distinguished soldierly qualities. When the Rebellion first raised its hydra head and 
the safety of our national capitol was threatened and imperilled by the traitors of the South 
he was found in the front rank of its defenders under the gallant Bumside. From the 
organisation of our regiment to the present time, he has participated in common with us 



102 



SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 



in all the dangers and priyations to which we have been exposed during the brief but not 
inglorious campaign. On the fatal battlefield of Fredericksburg, his coolness and brayery 
were prominently displayed, receiving the reward a true soldier ever craves, the approval 
of his superior officers. From that period to the present, his career has been marked by 
patience, endurance, and firm unswerving devotion to the cause of our common country. 
In taking leave of him, we do so in sorrow, feeling that on his retirement to civil life the 
government loses a noble, disinterested, and faithful defender, and we a brother officer, 
whose wise counsel and genial disposition won from us our sincere respect and lasting 
esteem. In conclusion, we venture to hope that his retirement from the regiment will 
not be of long duration, and anxiously look forward to his speedy return, restored to the 
position and rank which heretofore he has so satisfactorily filled. 



Job Arnold, Lieutenant-Colonel. 
Thomas F. Tobby, Major. 
Bdwabd T. Alleh, Capt Co. A. 
Thbodobx Winn, '' " B. 

AxFBED M. Chakhbll, '' '^ D. 
Pbbot Danibls, " '' E, 

WiLUAM H. Joyob, " " F. 

Thomas Gbbbn, " '' G. 

GBOBeB A. WlXiBUB, '' '' K. 

JoHH Sullivan, 1st Lieut and Adjt 
WiNTHBOP A. MooBB, Lieut. Co. A. 
William W. Wbbb, " *' B. 

Hbnby Lincoln, 1st " " C. 



Jambs F. Mbsbill, Lieut. Co. C. 

Albbbt L. Smith, 1st ^' ^^ D. 

FULLBB DlNeiiBY, " " " 

PBLBe E. Pbokham, 1st '' '' E. 

Dbxteb L. Bbownbll, " " *" 

Albert A. Bollbs, ^* '' F. 

Fbbdbbiok Wbioand, 1st " "6. 

Ephbaim C. Mobsb, '' " '' 

Gbobob N. Stonb, 1st '' '* H. 

Hbnby Young, " '' " 

Edwin L. Hunt, 1st '* "I. 

Bbnjamin G. Pebkins, '* ^^ K. 



At or about the same time Colonel Bliss wrote a letter concerning the 
matter to some official in the War Department bearing ample testimony to 
Captain Jenks's fidelity and efficiency. 

Murdock McLeod cut his foot severely with an axe while felling a tree 
for the fortification. 

Friday, 3d. The regiment furnished a detail of one hundred and twenty 
men under Capt. E. T. Allen and Lieutenants Smith and Bolles to fell some 
large trees. It returned to camp about five o'clock, having fulfilled its task. 
A mail was received and distributed during the evening. At Yicksburg firing 
commenced this morning much as usual, though the sharpshooters seemed 
a little more alert and active than ordinarily. About nine o'clock a white 
flag was discerned by our pickets in the rifle pits approaching our left. 
As it neared our lines firing ceased in its front though maintained at all 
other points. When the truce party came up, it was found to be led by 
Major-Qeneral Bowen who requested to be taken to General Grant. He 
was accordingly conducted to the Union commander, and, at eleven o'clock, 
delivered to him the first intimation that General Pemberton was consider- 
ing capitulation. The reply was promptly given that no proposition would 
be considered but that of unconditional surrender. General Bowen was es- 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. 103 

corted back through the lines when another message came from the rebel 
commander requesting a personal interview with General Grant. This was 
acceded to for three p. m. At the appointed hour the latter presented him- 
self and staff outside our advanced works, a few rods to the left of High 
Hill Port, all firing having ceased about noon, and awaited the arrival of 
his antagonist. A few moments later General Pemberton, who was a mem- 
ber of a wealthy Philadelphia family, appeared accompanied by General 
Bowen and Colonel Montgomery. When these gentlemen had approached 
within a few feet, they halted and Colonel Montgomery introduced them, 
"General Grant, General P«nberton." They shook hands politely, but it 
was evident the vanquished was mortified. He said, ^^I was at Monterey and 
Buena Vista; we had terms and conditions there." General Grant then 
took him aside, they sat down on the sward and conversed more than an 
hour. The conqueror smoked all the time while the other toyed with the 
grass. General Grant finally agreed to parole them allowing each officer 
his horse and side arms, and all three days' rations to enable them to rejoin 
their friends. It was a polite act and a sagacious one, for it saved Uncle 
Sam thousands upon thousands of dollars for transportation and food. 
They finally parted with the understanding that, if the terms were accepted, 
white flags would be displayed along the entire line of Yicksburg's defences 
at ten o'clock next morning. That night the frog and the cricket had full 
audience. The relief from the constant roar of artillery was refreshing. 

Saturday, 4th. A residue of the mail received last evening was brought 
np and distributed this morning. There were nmny rumors of a surrender 
at Vicksburg. There had been no sound of guns since yesterday morning. 
Some doubted, all hoped. As the morning passed, the reports became more 
definite, and many enthusiastic believers climbed high in the great mag- 
nolias and other lofty trees, hoping to catch a view of the city and glimpses 
of any ceremony. Soon after noon the capitulation of the stronghold was 
announced. The information was quietly received. No cheering was al- 
lowed lest Joe Johnston and his army might receive some intimation of the 
event Just before five p. m. the Seventh fell into column and started to- 
ward Jackson. A march of eight miles terminated late in the evening 
where there were some old field works. Sergeant Bezely was sent back 
thence with a captured deserter to division headquarters at Milldale where 
he arrived at two a. m. He had a horse and saddle to the pommel of which 
the prisoner was secured by a lanyard. He, of course, was obliged to walk 
the entire distance. The sergeant returned when his task was accomplished. 

Captain Daniels received this morning a leave of absence, which he 
pocketed during the entire Jackson expedition, awaiting a favorable oppor 



104 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

tunify to enjoy it. Captain Winn started for recruiting servioe in 
Rhode Island. Captain Jenks^ having completed the transfer of government 
property also left the regiment for home. The two officers were driven in 
an ambulance soon after seven o'clock for two hours some fourteen miles to 
the bank of the Yazoo. At noon the steamer, styled the David Tatum, left 
the landing, ran down the river out into the Mississippi within sight of 
Vicksburg whose courthouse was plainly in view. After tarrying here an 
hour or more, the boat proceeded up the river convoyed by a small gunboat. 
When well under way the news was given out that Vicksburg had surren- 
dered. The announcement came as a surprise to all and credited at first by 
but few. Just before reaching Memphis, on the 7th, one or more six- 
pounders opened from the west bank of the river, and succeeded in putting 
a shot through the upper works of the boat. A number of riflemen were 
near the battery, for a number of musket balls struck the boat, but none were 
injured. The announcement of the surrender of Vicksburg upon the arrival 
of the boat at Memphis of course occasioned great excitement. 

Meanwhile as the hour of ten drew near the entire line of investments 
was thronged with soldiery looking eagerly for the white flags to appear 
on the enemy's works. The rebels were prompt on this occasion, for at 
9.45 the little white flags were being displayed as far as the eye could reach. 
The shouts of the Unionists were almost deafening. Then one regiment 
after another marched out and stacked arms on that portion of the line it 
had defended. General Pemberton stood upon the parapet of High Hill 
Fort in front of Logan and supervised the whole operation. He was sur- 
rounded by his staff officers and many of his leading generals, affording thus 
a fine view to the thousands of spectators on our side of the prominent act- 
ors in this great drama on the other side. Not the faintest trace of that 
proud regret at not having been permitted to die in the last ditch whioh 
Southern assumption would have led one to look for, could be anywhere dis- 
cerned. In fact it was particularly noted that one company which marched 
out in quick time marched back on the double-quick, kicking up its heels and 
enjoying the occasion generally as much as any of the Yanks. Now this was 
not a Tennessee but a Mississippi comipany without a Union man in its 
ranks, but every one of them heartily tired of the siege and perhaps tired of 
the war. When all arms had been thus stacked, General McPherson attended 
simply by his division generals and staff rode into the city. He proceeded 
at once to the courthouse where Colonel Coolbaugh and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Strong ascended to the cupola, and, at half-past eleven, displayed 
thence the "Stars and Stripes," greeting them with three cheers which were 
responded to by the officers below, and then all joined in singing, "The Battle 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. 105 

Crj of Freedom." There is ample ground for the belief that one coneider- 
ation that prompted the renegade Pemberton to open negotiations on the 
third instant, waB the widespread belief in both armies that General Grant 
had planned a little observance of the national anniversary that might not 
be entirely agreeable to all concerned. The occupation of this city was the 
most important achievement of the war, as it not only opened the Mississippi 
to the Gulf but effectually prevented the transit of arms, ammunition, and 
supplies from Mexico and Texas to Richmond. 

Sunday, 5th. The place where the Seventh bivouacked last night had 
been the camp ground of the Fifteenth Army Corps. It was very dirty. 
Rifle pits extended along the crest of the hill. Reveille sounded at 4.30 
and march was resumed at six. The morning was bright and clear. Grossed 
Bear Creek. The day proved extremely hot. After a march of five miles 
we halted by the roadside until 2.30 p. m. A copy of the Vickslurg Citizen 
of July 2d was passed around. It was printed on straw colored wall paper. 
The editorial praised the meat, the mule meat, mentioned the death of 
ladies from hostile shells, and defiantly spoke of the strength of their po- 
sition, yet the tone indicated its weakness. Again en route, we accomplished 
three more miles crossing a large tributary of Bear Creek, and camping in 
some heavy woods on the south side of the road. At intervals during the 
day, cannonading was heard at the front. As Johnston retreated he caused 
cattle, hogs, and sheep to be driven into every pond he passed and there shot 
to prevent us from using the water. 

Monday, 6th, was an exceedingly hot day. The regiment remained in 
the woods until late in the afternoon. Big Black River was reported to be 
bat two miles distant. This morning some of the men secured a pig, others 
a sheep, and still others a calf. Soon the odors of fresh pork and mutton and 
veal permeated the entire camp. Some explorers secured a quantity of sor- 
ghma and others a handsaw which was turned over to Captain Allen who 
marked it with his company letter A, and deposited it with the commis- 
sary for transportation. The writer visited a log cabin almost too wretched 
to be habitable, yet proof existed that it had not been tenantless. In the 
loft was found some small black dried beans, a supply of which was carried 
to camp. They were at once placed in a kettle and hung over a fire that 
had a large hollow fallen tree for a back log, which also supported one end 
of the kettle stick. Of course the heat penetrated to the interior of the log, 
which contained unknown to any one a large hornet's nest. The inhabitants 
promptly sent out a skirmish line to investigate. There was no time to give 
other comrades warning, in fact there was no need to. Every man received 
notice to quit at once. Those standing or reclining near the many openings. 



106 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

suddenly began to perform most passionate gestures around their head and 
ears, emphatically hurling ejaculations of intensest disgust. The commo- 
tion rapidly extended. Blue uniforms played a similar part to the red flag 
in a Spanish bull fight. The hornets were not content with making one suc- 
cessful plunge at a fellow, but seemed out for all day and perfectly willing to 
go ten miles out of their way to get a whack at a soldier. The writer had 
a personal encounter with one. His hornetship's attack was as sudden and 
impetuous as the impact and detonation of a percussion projectile. Unfor- 
tunately, I forgot myself and tried to catch him. I distinctly remember the 
encounter. Instantly the entire side of my face felt like a foot asleep. 
Then it became as cold as an icicle. I pinched my cheek, but there was no 
other sensation in it. I bit my tongue, but it did not hurt me. There was 
some feeling in my face a moment later though, for such a pang as no 
mortal num ever felt unless he was hit by one of these insects, shot to the top 
of my head, and then shot back again, a pain that remained with me the 
regulation period for torture. Comrade Joslin gently and oonsolingly 
brushed my face, informed me what beautiful animals they are and what an 
almighty hot foot they have when they step upon a fellow. Another assured 
me these are not the worst kind of hornets. If they are not, none desired to 
encounter the other species. 

The boys finally rallied in a circle a hundred feet in diameter and gazed 
at the abandoned centre. Fry dishes containing all the food their owners 
possessed were smoking and sputtering on the deserted fire. Coffee was boil- 
ing over into the hot ashes. Meanwhile the pangs of hunger rapidly in- 
creased. Haversacks and canteens lay where they had been left. These 
were secured by twisting the ends of long poles into their straps just in 
time, for when we halted it was with the caution we must be ready to start 
at five p. M.^ and that hour was at hand. The fire was spreading. About 
marching time a hurricane of wind blew over the woods filling the air for a 
great distance with dust and smoke. This continued for fifteen minutes 
when rain fell for half an hour. It was a refreshing shower. Shelter tents 
were pitched and the men prepared to tarry for the night. While thus wait- 
ing, the engineers were preparing a crossing place at the Big Black, though 
this circumstance was not ascertained until afterward. 

Tuesday, 7th. The early morning was cloudy. At nine a. m. the sun 
shone out hot, very hot. At one p. m. column was formed and we marched 
about a mile to a large half-cultivated clearing. Here we halt in a corn- 
field originally a cottonfield, but, in part, converted to more practical use 
agreeably to Jeff Davis's famous proclamation. Scattered through it were 
clumps of dead girdled trees, whose well-nigh branchless skeletons were a 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. 107 

conspicuous, monmful feature of the landscape. On one side was a long 
row of negro cabins, two cotton gins constructed by J. S. Clark, of Clinton, 
Mids., but earlier of Connecticut, and a cotton press. Horse power only 
was employed. Nearby was a fine well of water, the only one we saw in 
that entire region. After all had refreshed themselves thereat, and none de^ 
spised the opportunity for the dust had been suffocative, the march was 
resumed and another mile brought us to the river where we stacked arms in 
another cornfield waiting our turn to cross. Meanwhile the woods in the 
vicinity of last night's camp were discovered to be on fire. Soon vast sheets 
of flame dashed through the forest Vivid flashes of lightning quivered 
above the glowing wood lending peculiar weirdness to the scene. Very few 
who gazed upon or heard of that terribly immense and destructive blase 
ever dreamed that a thriving colony of hornets was directly responsible 
therefor. 

Late in the afternoon the bridge at Birdsongs Ferry was pronounced 
finished and the second brigade of our division passed safely over. Just at 
dark Durrell's Battery, not Boemer's as some histories state, attempted to 
cross also. A caisson drawn by two horses had compassed two-thirds its 
span when the lower side sank half a foot. There was a succession of sharp 
crackings and tearings as the saplings and planking yielded more and more 
to the weight, until, at length, the structure touched the water, when it 
broke in twain and caisson and horses disappeared, the driver saving himself 
only by springing from his saddle and swimming ashore. This mischance 
prevents, of course, our passing over to-night, but imperative orders had been 
received to cross as soon as possible. It was decided to raft the men over a 
few at a time while the engineers rebuild the bridge. Our boys without 
orders prepare to remain v^ere they are and drop where they stand amid 
the cornhills. About nine o'clock a heavy shower came up. The sky became 
of inky blackness. A strong wind arose that quickly increased to a hurri- 
cane. The electric fluid curvetted o'er the northern and western heavens. 
The thunder was terrific. A deluge of water fell. The soldiers had naturally 
adapted their position to the slope of the soil, and, of course, dammed the 
torrents rushing through the furrows. It seemed to each as though all the 
sewage of the country was passing in at the waist-bands of their trousers 
and out at the bottom of the l^s; really, however, the men became half 
buried in the shifting sand. At last there came a flash that seemed to sere 
the eyeballs. It was accompanied by a crash that well-nigh lifted our bodies 
from the ground. Lieutenant Hawes acting quartermaster of the Thirty- 
fifth Massachusetts was killed by the falling of a limb severed by the light- 
ning, and it was reported another ofiScer met his death directly from a flash. 



108 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

M the height of the excitement the sergeant-major went through the biyouao 
informing us that the Seventh was to cross immediately. Upon the collapse 
of the bridge Colonel Bliss had ordered the construction of a raft, and, 
when completed, called for volunteers to swim the stream and carry a rope 
to those on the opposite side. Ck>rp. Daniel B. Sherman was one of the two 
or three who volunteered for this duty. Assembled at the river's edge, the 
process of ferrying commenced at 2.30 a. m. 

Wednesday, 8th. Six crossed at a time on a raft, at each end of which 
was a rope connected with the proximate shore. Varnum H. Dawley was 
one of those stationed at either end of the raft, and, by means of a punting 
pole, assisted those hauling at ropes from terra firma. The distance was 
a number of rods, the water very deep and dark and the current strong. 
Meanwhile a second tempest of almost equal severity burst upon us, but 
all we could do was simply to stand and brave its fury. When daylight ap- 
peared the entire regiment had been safely transferred to the farther shore. 
Had the first bridge proven serviceable the fleeing rebels would have been 
overtaken before the storms. As it was, while we were obliged to tarry, they 
kept moving. At this point Sergeant Bezely was sent from division head- 
quarters back to Vicksburg with a squad of prisoners and thence to the Mill- 
dale camp, where he had charge of a hospital for the sick and wounded. The 
latter, however, were shipped to Memphis as opportunity oflfered. 

About seven o'clock the march toward Jackson was resumed. We 
passed uprooted trees scattered about in dire confusion, some standing upon 
their topmost branches with the roots pointing toward the sky, also two or 
three cotton plantations with their full complement of buildings, mansions, 
slave quarters, mills, and storehouses. Halted at noon for dinner where all 
the structures had been fired yesterday and their cremation was but just 
ended. The owner and his family with most of the slaves had taken to the 
woods. At five o'clock we moved forward one and a half miles when we 
halted to receive rations of fresh meat. Then again onward until we reached 
a church sixteen miles from Brownsville. Its seats were found in the woods ; 
they were promptly turned down and the men slept on the backs of them. 
Water was very scarce and very poor. Distance compassed this day eight 
miles. 

Thursday, 9th. For some unknown reason the entire camp was 
awakened at 3.30 a. m., though reveille did not sound until 4.30. At six 
A. M. we were en route with clear weather and roads free from dust. At 
eight o'clock we were passing Joseph Emery Davis's plantation, Brierfleld. 
Several buildings in this vicinity were on fire, supposed to be set by strag- 
glers. The mansion itself, situated at the head of a beautiful lawn quite 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. 109 

a distance from the road upon its northern side and snrronnded with fine 
shrabbery, was discovered to be also on fire. An effort had been made to 
prevent this sort of work. Lieutenant-Colonel Pierson, of the Sixth New 
Hampshire, had rode over to keep stragglers away from it, but was just too 
late. The mischief had been done, and its perpetrators had gotten safely 
away. The house contained much fine furniture which escaped smashing 
only to succumb to the flames. A horse here captured was named after the 
rebel president and ridden by General Grant during the latter part of the 
war. 

Joe Davis's unpretentious residence on the south side of the road, was 
reported to have been burned, but the writer saw it standing and in good 
condition two weeks later on the return to Milldale. At eleven o'clock the 
regiment halted in some woods, for the men had been falling out for an 
hour or more, being overcome by the heat. Dinner was prepared beneath 
the welcome shade. At 4.30 p. m. marching was resumed, but very easily. 
At nine o'clock we camped in a little clearing on the left of the road half 
a mile northeast of Clinton village. The men suffered severely* were lamed 
and exhausted. Miles made, nearly twenty. Directly back and at the 
bottom of a steep shaded slope wad a beautiful spring, almost the only re- 
minder of New England life met during the Jackson campaign. Christopher 
Pierce, a man of slender physique, exhausted by chronic diarrhoea and over- 
come by the heat died to-day and was buried by his comrades just across 
the Clinton road beside the fence in the border of a field. It is improbable 
that anyone could now recognize the location of the grave. 

Friday, 10th. Away at 4.30 a. m. Johnston's forces fall back as we ad- 
vance. Sherman with fifty thousand men is approaching Jackson ins three 
columns; the Ninth Corps forming the left, closing in on the north side of 
the city ; the centre and right columns on the west and south sides respect- 
ively. At first our route lay a short distance north of Clinton. At six a. m. 
rations were distributed and ammunition served out. March resumed at 
10.45. Halted half an hour later. The sun was very hot. Learned that at 
a house nearly a mile away down a by-path good water can be procured. 
Many went down, and, beside the water found an abundance of sugar and 
molasses. Later we nu>ved forward to a bivouac of teams beside the road. 
It is reported that Jackson is five miles southeast of here, and that our 
troops have taken the first line of works on the south side of that city. The 
advance is made very cautiously now. We are ordered to load our muskets. 
The Seventh occupies a rise of ground, forms line, and sends out a picket 
consisting of Companies E and A, but the latter was returned not being re- 
quired. One of the posts is at a weather-beaten schoolhouse with a thick 



110 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

heavy wood behind it. During the evening a large fire is discernible in the 
direction of the rebel capital. The night is clear but warm, so the entire 
brigade rest in tolerable comfort, though most of its blankets with all 
its knapsacks have been left by order of Col. 8. Q. Griflan at last nighf s 
camp ground. 

Saturday, 11th. Just at daylight the men were awakened by the 
sound of skirmish-firing with occasional cannon shots. Later, stragglers be- 
gan to come in, almost every one bearing a book evidently from some fine li- 
brary. We soon learned that the house where many of us yesterday obtained 
water and sweets, contained in a little attic most of Jeff Davis's private 
library. The discovery was m^e by accident. Large, strong boxes hooped 
with iron, contained volumes bound in every variety of richness, on poetry, 
history, and science, many the gifts of friends from every part of the 
United States, congressional documents, private and political letters and 
letter books into which was copied the correspondence of years in the scrawl- 
ing band of their former possessor. They were at once emptied in one huge 
pile upon the floor over which the soldiers walked with muddy shoes, tossiug 
hither and thither according to fancy in the selection of a trophy, everything 
of the greatest private value to the rebel chief that existed on paper. This 
^ as the home of one Cox, formerly his steward. 

The day was passed indolently until 2.45 p. m. when the Seventh and a 
part of the Sixth New Hampshire under command of Colonel Bliss were 
ordered to cut a railroad leading northward from Jackson, and distant some 
four miles. Company A served as our rear guard on the march, and as our 
picket when we reached the track. The road was found to be in good con- 
dition. The remainder of the regiment was deployed on one side of the 
track, two or three men at the end of each tie, when, at a given signal, with 
one mighty effort of concentrated strength that entire section of track was 
torn from its bed. Ties, telegraph poles, wires, and rails, were piled in 
masses and set on fire. When these last became hot they were bent in the 
middle and then doubled and twisted, thus becoming useless for further 
similar service. Officers and men labored with the greatest zeal until half 
a mile of the road had been destroyed, when, at dusk, the expedition started 
for damp, arriving soon after nine. The men sought rest on the ground just 
to the rear of their stacked muskets. 

Sunday, 12th. At 2.30 a. m. the camp was suddenly alarmed, and 
thoroughly aroused by musket shots in immediate proximity. Excitement 
was intense, all sprang to arms, but no noise was permitted. A squad of 
men was sent out to ascertain the occasion of the disturbance. The line 
waited their report in anxious suspense, discussing possibilities and prob- 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. Ill 

abilities. On their return it was stated that the firing was at supposed 
cavalry. Then followed another protracted period of waiting, but, at length, 
arms were stacked and all laid down though not to sleep. Sergeant Greene 
states that he was sergeant of the guard that night. One of the sentry 
challenged a man on horseback. The rider did not stop. The sergeant' at- 
tempted to seize the horseman's bridle, but failed and was fired at. The 
bnllet missed its mark, and the intruder escaped, but the echoing report pre- 
pared all for any emergency. 

At eight o'clock line was formed and the brigade was ordered to the 
front. We crossed the railroad a little to the south of the section de- 
molished yesterday afternoon, and, passing along a swampy road 
with thick alders on each side, came upon the grounds of the Insane 
Asylum, a large and handsome building, where we briefly halted. 
An aged female inmate addressed us from one of the barred upper windows. 
A rebel flag was floating from the flagstaff just prior to our arrival, 
but a shot from a Union battery brought it down and the Stars and 
Stripes replaced the rag just as we reached the spot. A section 
of Durell's Pennsylvania battery went into position about a hundred 
yards to the northeast of the asylum with Benjamin's battery of twenty- 
pounder Parrotts on its left. Soon we moved forward through a swampy 
thicket beyond which was something of a hill covered with low 
scrubby underbrush and scattered timber. Here the men rested 
on their arms during the remainder of the day, constituting with the 
remainder of the brigade the support of the second brigade of our division 
which was just over the hill and were maintaining a brisk skirmish firing. 
Rebel Minie balls continually whistled over our heads and dropped into the 
swamp behind us, but we dozed and slept as fancy prompted. Soon after 
four, line was formed and a mail distributed. 

Monday, 13th. Very early this morning the regiments of our brigade 
exchanged places with those on the firing line. We fell in at 2.30 a. m. and 
moved quietly and cautiously to the front, relieving the Thirty-fifth Massa- 
chusetts. The route was circuitous to and through a side road that led 
diagonally up a sheltering hill, passing on the right the farmhouse where 
Colonel GriflSin had established brigade headquarters, to the Canton road on 
the highest ground beyond. This latter portion which was sunken was occu- 
pied by the Seventh, at this time on the extreme right of the Ninth Corps. 
The picket line thrown well to the front waa posted through the thick under- 
growth behind large trees or in rifle pits. The distance between the main 
opposing lines at this point was some three hundred yards. Just across 
the Canton road was a well-furnished but not well-built house that had 



112 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

been occupied by a certain Mr. Gillespie. Near this was tbe rains of a brick 
building tbat evidently had been destroyed by shells. It may have been the 
young ladies' seminary. The kitchen and pantry pertaining thereto still sur- 
vived. There were also a number of other houses in close proximity, one of 
which was of brick, but all evinced marks of hasty abandonment. This spot, 
subsequently denominated Fortification Hill, afforded a good view of the 
enemy's lines and also of one of their principal batteries on the farther side 
of a deep ravine. The intervening ground was covered with a scrub-growth, 
scattering oaks, and some slashings near the enemy's line. Heavy skirmish- 
ing persisted through the entire day, with occasional outbursts of excite- 
ment caused by hostile fusilades when our artillery would toss a few shells 
over to remind the Johnnies somebody was in front of them. When Captain 
Benjamin every now and then sent a shell with his compliments, our men 
cheered, and, when, finally it exploded over if not beyond the city in the 
rebel reverse lines, we cheered again. Their artillery infiicted no damage 
whatsoever on our men. Their sharpshooters were most dreaded, for, from 
the thick foliage of the tree-tops, they could see our men when standing erect 
even in the sunken road. Notwithstanding the accuracy of their fire, how- 
ever, explorations were deemed by all to be in order. Captain Allen sent 
his colored servant, Willis, to a brick residence on the extreme front line 
in search of tinware. Just as he entered the pantry a Confederate shell 
passed through the walls just above his head and exploded barely outside 
the building. The next moment Willis appeared excitedly shouting that the 
rebs had thrown a whole gun right through the house. The writer visited 
a wooden residence and secured some literature from one of the chambers, 
among other things a copy of the Jackson Clarion and of Frank Forrester's 
Field Sports, both of which he yet retains (1902). While making his selec- 
tions he accidently exposed himself and immediately several bullets 
splintered through the roof. In the pantry he selected a bright new fonr- 
quart tin pail which proved most useful for gathering fruit, carrying water, 
etc., until, on the trip up the Mississippi, owing to his lack of skill in casting 
it for water oflf deck the line parted, its bright bottom rolled up and blinked 
an everlasting farewell. From the Cla/rion it was learned the price of slaves 
had already declined fifty per cent, or more. A slave's value depended almost 
entirely on his personal situation and feelings. A steady slave who had a 
wife on or near his owner's plantation was considered valuable in the neigh- 
borhood, but one brought from a distance or young men and women who had 
no domestic ties to bind them or slaves who had ever manifested a disposition 
to ran away, would not bring any price at all. A man would as soon think 
of investing his money in a contingent interest in a fiock of wild pigeons or 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. 113 

a school of herring Bwimming in mid-ocean. At one time dnring the day the 
rebels fired canister at these honses. Our men proved such effective sharp- 
sbooters their gunners speedily discontinued the amnsement, and never 
after walked leisurely about, but when exposing themselves moved on a run. 
At 2.30 p. M. a line of rebel infantry approached within a hundred and fifty 
yards of a pit containing Sergeant Barstow and his squad and fired a 
volley. This was promptly replied to and their advance was checked. Mean- 
while Captain Scruppe, of the Fifty-ninth Pennsylvania, brought up his com- 
pany of thirty-nine men to support that part of the line, but no further 
demonstration was attempted. Immediately after dark the captain com- 
menced the construction of a rifle pit directly across the main road. The 
chief danger lay in relieving the posts and in posting the line. It was at 
this time two men were killed and three or four wounded. Bergt H. W. 
Tigdale, of the Thirty-fifth Massachusetts, states that at dawn he had stirred 
around considerably, had rolled up his rubber blanket and was just turning 
his place over to Sergt. John E. Hull, of Ck>mpany O, when he heard the 
oliok of a bullet which struck his musket, passing between the barrel and 
ramrod at the lower band, and, glancing, passed through the right side of the 
latter, killing him instantly. The sharpshooter that had such good range 
on the position was in a tree-top, and could not be seen though the direction 
of his fire was exactly known. Jonathan R. Clark, likewise, of Company O, 
was also instantly killed by a bullet's passing through his brain. Ten pri- 
vates were wounded : Oliver H. Congdon of A in the cheek, Dennis Foley 
and Byron C. Nye of B, Irvin D. Briggs of E, Jared J. Potter and Bandall 
Sisson of G, Nathan Bathbone and John E. Bice of H, Luke Lyons of I, and 
Abel B. Eenyon of E. Moreover, Adjt. John Sullivan and Lieutenant Fuller 
Dingley were taken prisoners in this wise : About eleven p. m. a company 
was called for to re-enforce a part of the line we were occupying. Colonel 
Bliss sent these two officers with a company of the Twenty-ninth Massachu- 
setts, which they placed as directed. They then started to return to head- 
quarters, but probably lost their way in the darkness and walked into the 
enemy'is lines, where, of course, they were held. Certain it is they did not 
return, and later rebel prisoners reported two lieutenants were captured 
opposite our position and sent immediately to Bichmond. 

It was impossible to remove the slain before dark. The writer was one 
of four sent out to the skirmish line to bring in the remains of the sergeant. 
The body was rolled upon a blanket and borne back to the sunken road. 
There we met a similar party with Comrade Clarke's remains. Under the 
direction of a commissioned officer, with our ghastly burdens, we pursued 
our solemn journey to brigade headquarters, turning into a little orchard 

8 



114 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

and garden just in the rear of the house. There we scraped away a layer of 
weeds and thickly scattered apples and peaches, and dug two graves side by 
side. No flickering light illumined the scene, only the distant stars shone 
out. While some forced the clayey mud-caked spade into the ground, others 
of the party wiped the perspiration from their necks and faces. Once or 
twice those resting relieved the workers until the graves were ready. It was 
a gruesome task. Carefully but quickly each form was wrapped in the 
blanket which had thus far sustained it and then lifted and lowered into its 
final resting place, while the bullets from the enemy's skirmishers hummed 
through the trees overhead. No bugle sounded taps. No chaplain offered 
prayer. The little party were the only mourners. It was soon over. The 
loose dirt was shoveled back again, softly at first and then more hurriedly, 
until the graves were filled and leveled hard. Then the burial party returned 
to its place at the front. There was no manifestation of love at the inter- 
ment, but that evening's experience is still a vivid memory that never can 
be effaced. 

Tuesday, 14th. At three a. m. the Seventh was relieved by the Seventieth 
Michigan of General Welch's First Division of the Ninth Corps ; in fact the 
whole Second divisioa was relieved by the First. We marched to the i-ear 
and camped in a grove half a mdle northwest of the Insane Asylum. We 
refreshed ourselves with hard bread and coffee, and then snoozed the day 
away though some wrote letters to friends. At sunset a form of parade was 
held for the promulgation of orders. Lieut. W. A. Moore is acting adjutant. 

Wednesday, 15th. A cool day for this section. We still rest, feasting 
meanwhile on apples, peaches, and green corn, roasted, stewed, and raw. 
The arrival of another mail occasioned the usual rejoicing. 

Thursday, 16th. About eleven o'clock last night line was formed with 
the expectation that the enemy was about to make a sortie. As no demon- 
stration had been made, at one o'clock ranks were broken and the men slept 
until morning. The knapsacks and blankets left at the camp of the 9th 
instant by order of Colonel Qriffin came to hand. The wagon had been 
upset and such baggage as had not been lost was found to be badly damaged. 

Friday, 17th. Early this morning Colonel GriflBn passed through the 
camp saying the rebels had evacuated Jackson, their rear guard departing 
about four a. m. The second brigade of our division was first in town. The 
Thirty-fifth Massachusetts was on duty at the front. There was a fire in 
the city and the bells pealed an alarm. The men became suspicious and at 
gray dawn failing to obtain any response from the opposing works pushed 
cautiously forward. Soon they discovered an old colored man waving a 
white cloth who imparted the news. The regiment at once pushed forward 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. 115 

and entered the city hoisting its own flag on the State Honae. The Con- 
federate flag there displayed is preserved aa a trophy. The regiment also 
captured 157 stragglers including an officer. Four companies were posted 
ajB safeguards of private property. Most of the citizens had left, taking their 
Faluables with them. Unoccupied houses were pillaged by the soldiers of 
both armies. Wanton destruction of private property was forbidden, but 
all public property adapted to military use, including the railroads and the 
telegraph lines were destroyed by order of General Sherman. A few pieces 
of artillery and some ammunition were secured. The defences of the city 
had consisted merely of a shallow rifle pit with two or three batteries of 
heavy artillery for permanent defence. The Johnnies evidently retired lest 
they should be surrounded. The State penitentiary, one of the finest in the 
South, was discovered to be a heap of blackened ruins on our entrance. 

Saturday, 18th. The Seventh did not enter Jackson as an organization, 
but some of its members did of their own volition. After the excitement 
incident to the confirmation of the rebel skedaddle had subsided, men began 
to inquire with anxious faces, ^^Will the Ninth Corps now return to Ken- 
tucky?" Though another day's rest was vouchsafed, all were desirous to 
leave this spot, for we were surrounded with decaying animal and vegetable 
matter that infected the air and suggested some serious epidemic. 

Sunday, 19th. Every passing rider and team raises a cloud of dust that 
drifts into camp enveloping everything. Orders were received to provide 
ourselves with rations and return to our old permanent camp at Milldale. 
At four p. M. we were ready to march, but darkness and tattoo came before 
the command, so we dropped on the ground for one more unexpected nap in 
the suburbs of Mississippi's capital. 

Monday, 20th. Reveille was sounded at 3.30 and by five o'clock we were 
on the return march westerly toward Milldale. At eleven o'clock we halted 
for rest and dinner, which consisted chiefly of roaat green corn and coffee. 
A mail arrived to gladden the hearts of many during the siesta. At four 
o'clock the march was resumed, but when twenty miles had been completed 
and just before reaching Brownsville we bivouacked for the night in a con- 
venient wood. Considerable fruit was obtained during the day. 

Tuesday, 21st. After a light breakfast we took to the road at five a. m. 
It was not so dusty as yesterday. Considerable fruit was gatheired. A 
watermelon patch was found that contained fine melons. Each of these was 
immediately seized and possessed by a satisfied owner. One comrade asked 
a negro how far it was to Brownsville. He replied that it was "Two whoops 
and a git" This was very indefinite and quite unsatisfactory, until it was 
learned that a whoop is the distance represented by the lung power of a 



116 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

person modified by the direction and force of the wind, while a git is the 
extent of his fieet-footedness. At eight o'clock the village was reached and 
found to consist of six or eight dwelling-houses and two churches. Its in- 
habitants were said to be of pronounced Secession proclivities. The brigade 
tarried here half an hour while the men refreshed themselves with excellent 
water and an abundance of melons. When we left we brought two Union 
families with us, transporting their baggage in the army wagons, themselves 
in ambulances. Again on the road we appreciated fully a light southwest 
breeze, while our officers freed us to a considerable extent from the dust 
nuisance by marching across lots most of the time. In the afternoon we 
passed Clinton, and also the old church, upon the backs of whose seats we 
slept one night during our outward march. A little later we entered an 
immense cornfield miles in extent. At its edge were some plantation build- 
ings, a cotton gin and a press house. A number of exhausted men sought 
refuge for the night therein. Among these was Joseph H. Holbrook, of 
Company E, who never was seen again. Certain comrades reported they left 
him there next morning in a dying condition resulting from extreme heat, 
others stated they saw there his lifeless remains. The atmosphere had 
become exceeding sultry, and as but half rations had been issued marching 
was an arduous task. Still the column tramped on until past eight o'clock 
when the men were ordered to bivouac in the standing corn. They stacked 
their muskets, and, with the exception of fruit, went supperless to sleep. 

Wednesday, 22d. When the expedition to Jackson was undertaken 
strict orders were issued that all horses, mules, cattle, and supplies that 
could be gathered on the way should be brought back on the return. As the 
various animals w6re collected they were placed in charge of the brigade 
butcher and his assistants, whose duty it was to care for, feed, and water 
them. At night these were corralled and mounted herders stood guard. 
For some inexplicable reason shortly before one, this morning, mad terror 
seized some of the wildest animals, they broke from their keepers and 
stampeded in the direction of the sleeping soldiers followed by the entire 
herd. There was a loud crackling like a fusilade from repeating rifles — it 
was the rush of the frightened herd through the standing corn. Stacks of 
muskets were knocked over upon the sleeping men. Upon them furiously 
the scampering animals bounded trampling the prostrate forms like straws. 
Black darkness increased the excitement. The panic among the soldiery 
was terrible. Their first impression was that a r^ment of rebel cavalry 
had raided them. In the confusion each man hurrying to secure his own 
weapon seized another's musket and yet another's equipments. Officers 
hurridly and frantically endeavored to get the companies into line, but the 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. 117 

fury of the dash rendered it impossible. Not until the drove had paMed 
entirely across the bivonac was r^^lar formation accomplished, and then 
all waited for the foe that did not appear. Bnt the herders were not idle 
meanwhile. The fugitives were headed off soon after their passage of the 
camp and were tamed back toward the corral. Their path crossed a differ- 
ent section this time, and, though the men had some idea of what was 
coming when the drove struck them, the excitement was scarcely less 
intense than before. The former were jumping around like monkeys, the 
hoofs of the latter were flying everywhere. The experience was simply 
terrific. Murder was in the hearts of all, in their mouths all known phrases 
of angry disgust and some hitherto unknown. Quiet was gradually restored 
and the men returned to their slumbers. A cow that had been secured on 
Jeff Davis's plantation was cared for by the Thirty-fifth Massachusetts, and 
afterwards became the property of Benjamin Perley Poore, Washington cor- 
respondent of the Boston Journal A mule of similar extraction was also 
taken to the Old Bay State in 1865. 

The day was spent until four p. m. in a heavy growth of beeohwood 
interspersed with breadfruit trees and beautiful magnolias. It was learned 
that all wagons except such as barely suiBced to carry our supplies were 
ordered to follow General Sherman. The scantiness of the rations issued 
occasioned much grumbling, for the men were weak and faint. Yet the 
long rest afforded considerable refreshment One mile's march brought us 
to the Big Black Biver at Messinger's Ferry where the Engineer Corps had 
constructed a good log bridge, high above the water and nearly on a level 
with the road. Evidently a permanent structure had existed there before 
the war. For a considerable distance on the hither side, the road was quite 
shady, ascending gradually to higher ground, but when the crest was reached 
the land we found cultivated. Upon this the sun had all day been pouring 
its fiercest rays, until the earth was literally baked and cracked. 
The dust was deep and hot. It rose in suffocating clouds that, slowly 
drifting, obscured all objects and rendered existence intolerable both for 
man and beast. Soon after five, black clouds gathered in the southwestern 
horizon. Ere long the sun was suddenly darkened by one from whose fore- 
front darted forked lightning in every direction. Deafening roars of 
thunder followed. It seemed like midnight when the first drops pattered 
down; 'twas but a moment later when the rain descended in sheets. 
Quickly all were thoroughly soaked. The parched earth, thirsty as it was, 
could not swallow the too abundant draught. In five minutes the road was 
a rushing stream. The dust was effectually laid, but in its place was an 
abundance of slippery mud. While traveling was still hard, the change was 



118 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

welcome, even though the temperature was not materially lowered. There 
was much straggling. The writer dropped out, as he afterward ascertained, 
within a mile of the regimental bivouac, and, with an equally wearied 
comrade, crawled into a log corn barn half filled with dry husks, in which 
we buried our tired bodies, and, for a while, rested, unable to sleep. Next 
morning we were surprised to hear our bugle calls, and decided if possible 
to overtake our colors before they started. Nathan W. Bobbins, of Company 
Q, a very young man, of slender physique, ^-as overcome by the heat soon 
after our entrance upon the plateau, and died therefrom by the roadside. 

Thursday, 23d. The regiment moved at four a. m. The air was cool, 
the roads damp. Provisions were well-nigh exhausted. A single hard-tack 
was a treasure. Despite the scantiness of their fare and their lameness, the 
men made a fairly comfortable march of fourteen miles to their old camp at 
Milldale, which was reached soon after nine. Company D numbered but 
thirty-six men and two officers upon its arrival. It was a dirty, ragged, 
exhausted, hungry gang. He who secured but a handful of flour from a 
baker who had set up near by considered himself in rare luck. During the 
afternoon a general scrubbing took place whereby many a seedy-looking chap 
was transformed into a neat tidy soldier, such as had not been seen for many 
a day. By evening many tents were up and the camp was in fair condition, 
but great was the complaint concerning vermin. It seemed as though all 
the insect life of the entire region had congregated here in anticipation of a 
glorious picnic. Necessarily our apartments were kept wide open, hence 
they were free to all comers. Ants built catacombs beneath our couches, 
land crabs burrowed up through the fungus-grown floor to inspect our rest- 
ing places, woodticks climbed the tent-walls, whence they could select the 
most favorable lodging place, flies covered our food as with sackcloth and 
endeavored to rob us even of its scantiness, mosquitoes of unrivaled force 
and ferocity plied their lancets with merciless vigor, and, when their appetite 
were appeased, rested on the ridgepole and mockingly barked at their victim 
until he went to sleep, great hairy spiders built nests in the peak, strange 
things whized and buzzed and boomed through the darkness, anon dropping 
on our faces with a sharp thud as if shot or alighting with sticky feet 
reluctant of dislodgment. All night long there was a rustling and a crack- 
ling of well-nigh every type of winged and creeping abomination that earth 
produces. 

Friday, 24th. Every man rested. To-day we have all the bread we 
want. Two barrels of salt pork left here when we started for Jackson 
speedily disappear. Our complexions resemble that of a well-cured ham. 
Our wardrobes have been sadly reduced. Most are destitute of shoes, many 




CapL George N. Durfee. 
Capt. Alfred M. Channell. 
Lieat. Albert A. Bolles. 
Lieat. Henry Yoong. 



Caot. James N. Potter. 
Lieut. Fuller Dingley. 
Lieut. Joseph Groves. 
Capt. Edwin L. Hunt. 



Adjt, Henry J. Spooner. 
Capt. Thomas Green. 
Lieut. Thomas S. Brownell. 
Lieut. William W.Webb. 



Capt. David R. Kenyon. 
Capt. Thomas B. Carr. 
Adit. Charles F. Page. 
Lieut. George B. Costello. 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAHPAI6N. 119 

have substituted drawers for trousers, manj have shed their shirts. Not 
a few have arrayed themselves in garments foraged along the route. The 
writer's hat looked as if it had been abandoned as a plaything by a dog. 
We have marched 120 miles in twenty days under a scorching sun. The sixty 
return miles were accomplished in eighty hours including halts. Scarcely 
a night passed when we were not under arms once, often twice, and on one 
occasion thrice. We suffered much from thirst. A good well was almost 
unheard of in that section and springs were very few. The inhabitants 
depended on large cisterns for all water required either for domestic or farpa- 
ing purposes. They were constructed of brick, arched roofs, and, with an 
opening at the level of the ground which was curbed. The retreating rebels 
destroyed all fixtures for raising its contents. At first some men and 
horises were poisoned by water from a cistern, presumably intentionally 
polluted, hence a sentry was posted at all subsequently found, and none were 
permitted to draw therefrom until it had been carefully examined. Even 
then the guard was maintained lest the precious fiuid should be wasted. Of 
the rivers whence water was procured, that from the Mississippi was pro- 
nounced the best, that from the Yazoo the worst. 

Sunday, 26th. Company inspection at nine a. m. Perspiration ran in 
streams from the men's faces. The muskets looked well considering; of the 
clothing nothing is to be said. Henry H. Godfrey, of Company A, was dis- 
charged this day. 

Monday, 27th. A violent and prolonged thunder shower. 

Tuesday, 28th. Many of the men are prostrate from the effects of 
their arduous duties during the campaign and the debilitating infiuence of 
the climate. 

Thursday, 30th. There are no well men for duty. Our prospects as to 
health are serious. Our meat rations, pork, and bacon, are very poor, our 
hard bread musty and wormy. 

Friday, 31. Evidently we are awaiting river transportation. The mail 
arrives weekly. There has been no drill since leaving Lancaster, Ey. 

August, 1863. 

Saturday, Ist Another violent thunder shower. To obtain an adequate 
conception of the amount of rainfall at such a time, observe that in the rear 
of our camp was a ravine fifteen feet wide and about ten feet deep, through 
the bottom of which flowed a tiny brooklet. In less than one hour from the 
time it commenced to sprinkle this was filled with a rushing torrent that 
overflowed the bank on either side and bore along immense quantities of 



120 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

driftwood at a fearful rate. In two hours the flood was well-nigh past, 
while in the morning the little stream danced over the pebbles as merrily 
as if no angry surge had ever disturbed its gentle sportings. We received 
today the compliments of General Grant as follows : 

Special Orders^ ) HEADquABTBBS Dbpabtment of thb TsNiirBSSBB, 

No. 907. i V10KSBUB&, Miss., July 81, 18«3. 

The Ninth Army Corps, MaJ.-G«n. J. G. Parke commanding, wiU return to the 
Department of the Ohio as rapidly as transportation can be provided. On arriving at 
Cairo General Parke will telegraph to the Geneial-in-Chief of the Army and to Major- 
General Bumside for further instructions. 

The provost marshal general of this army wiU send north all prisoners of war not 
authorized to be paroled in charge of the Ninth Army Corps. They will be left at Indian- 
apolis or such other point as the General-in-Chief may direct 

In returning the Ninth Army Cori>s to its former comnuind, it is with pleasure that 
the general commanding acknowledges its valuable services in the campaign just closed. 
Arriving at Yicksburg opportunely, taking position to hold at bay Johnston^s army then 
threatening the forces investing the city, it was ready and eager to assume the aggressive 
at any moment After the fall of Yicksburg it formed a part of the army which drove 
Johnston from his position near the Big Black River into his intrenchments at Jackson, 
and after a siege of eight days compeUed him to fly in disorder from the Mississippi Val- 
ley. The endurance, valor and general good conduct of the Ninth Army Corps are 
admitted by all, and its valuable cooperation in achieving the final triumph of the cam- 
paign, is gratefuUy acknowledged by the Army of the Tennessee. 

Major-General Parke will cause the different regiments and batteries of his command 
to inscribe upon their banners and guidons, '' Yicksburg*^ and '^ Jackson.'' 

By order of Maj.-Gbn. U. S. Gbakt. 

T. S. BOWBBS, 

Acting Assistant A^utant^OeneraL 

Sunday, 2d. To improve our sanitary condition the regiment was 
moved southerly across the road a short distance to the summit of a ridge 
of hills within some light fortifications. The new location did not admit 
of a systematic arrangement of camp, so each company pitched its tents 
in conformity to that particular portion of the works it chanced to occupy. 
The Tpien christened the new location Milldale Heights, but the camp wba 
styled Oak Bidge, the southwestern portion of which it occupied. 

Monday, 3d. Late in the afternoon another thunderstorm. The men 
fear if they tarry much longer all will perish from the climate and the poor 
quality of provisions. Some of the men have discovered their trousers cover 
more than a single pair of legs, and could be seen in secluded places with 
said garments lying upon their knees from which they were evicting 
obnoxious tenants. 




View of Entrance National Cemetery, Vicksburg, Miss., January, i901. 




View of Interior National Cemetery, Vicksburg, Miss. 



THE iflSSISSIPPI 0AMPAI6K. 121 

Thursday, 6th. John W. Grinnell, of Company E, was something of 
a somnambulist. About this time he contracted the habit of walking around 
the crest of the breastworks in the middle of the night. His performance 
became a subject of camp gossip, which evidently reached the ears of one 
of his company officers. It is reported the latter provided himself with a 
sapling, and, at an opportune moment, sallied forth to meet Orinnell, when 
a general waking up occurred. 

Friday, 7th. Great was the rejoicing when orders were issued to 
prepare to leave camp. Comrades of less than an hour's separation greeted 
one another as if they had been parted for months, and had relinquished 
every expectation of meeting again in the flesh. 

Saturday, 8th. About noon the order to march was received and in 
one short hour tents were struck, baggage packed, and the regiment was on 
its way to Snyder's Bluff. There lay the steamer, David Tatum, a large 
but old and shabby craft upon which the entire brigade embarked — was 
packed, more properly expresses the state of affairs, for "gold herring*' never 
lay in closer embrace than did the men on the deck of this steamer. The 
Yazoo was now at its lowest water mark. Its border land was also low and 
marshy save where bluffs abruptly protruded. One could almost jump from 
the boat to either bank. It was diflBcult to find places where a craft could 
turn around. At four o'clock we were under way. The channel constantly 
changed from side to side, the boat scraping on sand bars as it passed from 
swirl to swirl. So difficult was the navigation that we had not proceeded 
far when the bow ran upon the bank and stuck fast. None could refrain 
from laughter, especially as all were indifferent to any new experience. 
All were cautioned to keep in their places so as to preserve an even keel. 
At last, after a prodigious amount of backing and punting the prow suddenly 
became disengaged when the momentum of the boat assisted by the cross 
current of the river carried it stern first against the opposite bank, com- 
pletely destroying the rudder. The now helpless vessel was made fast to 
Bome trees and Quartermaster William P. Moses, of the Ninth New Hamp- 
Bhire, was di^spatched on horseback to Yicksburg for another boat. As 
it was evident we must remain there until that craft should arrive, all 
settled down and sought rest as best they could find it. There waa insuffi- 
cient room for any game or sport, and if a person moved about he was 
greeted at every step with "Get off my feet !" If one lost his sitting-place it 
was a long time before he found another. This accident occurred near 
Chickasaw Bayou. 

Sunday, Stii. The sun came out hot as usual, so we stretched our tents 
for shade, thus imparting singularity to the steamer's appearance. Many 



122 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

went ashore and built fires to boil their coffee and fry their bacon. They 
also improved the opportunity to stretch their cramped limbs. The boat 
hands repeatedly cautioned all against bathing in the stream which was 
of a dirty yellow color and smelled like a sink drain, jet many swam and 
tumbled about theirin with the relish of those who, for more than a 
month had been able to get barely ankle deep in water save during a 
thunder shower. As it was remembered there had been a contraband camp 
near by, Sergeants Cole and Stoothoff started out in search of Adam's ale. 
They found one spring, but unpleasantly near it the body of a dead negro. 
Many huts were still standing, and in many of the bunks were corpses of 
both sexes that had evidently been abandoned before the vital spark was 
extinct. In one hut they found an empty bunk of good material which 
they knocked to pieces, and then brought the boards on to the boat intend- 
ing to use them for shelter during a shower as they were quartered on the 
hurricane deck and exposed to the full force of the elements. That very 
evening, however, they were used by the finders to m:ake a coffin for Thomas 
B. Eenyon of Company A, who was failing rapidly when the regiment em- 
barked, and was claimed by the grim reaper before the night's stopping 
place was reached. In the darkness while coaling a few comrades carried 
his remains ashore and buried them by the river's bank. There was a large 
number of invalids among the soldier passengers, and the physicians, hos- 
pital steward, attendants, and a number of the comrades were constantly 
busied ministering to their wants as perfectly as the limited means at their 
disposal permitted. There was total lack of nourishing food; only the 
simple army ration was available. 

A little after four p. m. the snuoke of an approaching steamer was dis- 
cerned, and soon the small stern-wheeled gunboat Yankee which had left its 
armament of field guns at Vicksburg, came up to the port side of the dis- 
abled steamer when the two were lashed together, the former slightly astern, 
thus securing their guidance. One regiment was at once transferred to 
her decks, thus somewhat relieving the crowded condition of the David 
Tatum. After several toots to warn any straggler on shore the two boats 
started on their exceedingly difficult voyage down the narrow tortuous 
channel. It was well into the evening when the mouth of the river waa 
safely reached, and a tarry was made to secure additional fuel. The 
monotony of the trip as well as that up the Mississippi was occasionally 
relieved by one boat or the other striking a sand bar. The other would 
shoot ahead snapping the connections between the two craft, while every 
one on the grounded boat staggered forward, and the flying end of the 
parted hawser cut like a knife through contiguous wooden walls. 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGK. 123 

The Yankee waa quite a curioBity, especially as to its machinery. The 
long connecting rods which united the cross head to the wheel cranks were 
of hickory, and they were bound to the latter by rude iron straps with 
wooden wedges to hold them to the crankpins. These required frequent 
adjustment which necessitated the stopping of the boat. 

Monday, 10th. At daylight the double steamar started on its trip up 
the Mississippi. During the forenoon Manton Q. Austin, of Company O, 
died, and his remjains were left with the commandant fit Goodrich Landing, 
who promised for them a soldier's burial. At night we tied up eighty miles 
above Vicksbui^. 

Tuesday, 11th. William H. Spencer, of Company B, and Benjamin 
Peckham, of Company I, died to-day, the latter from typhoid fever. On 
reaching Napoleon at the mouth of the Arkansas, their bodies were closely 
wrapped in their blankets and buried on the levee during a terrific thunder- 
storm. It is very possible, however, that the ever-changing current haa 
cut out their graves and distributed their bones indiscriminately. 

Wednesday, 12th. Arrived this afternoon at Helena, interesting as 
the scene of recent battles, where we tarried over night. A supply of wood 
fnel was taken on board. Its loading was a curiosity. It is accomplished 
from high banks where it has been collected. Each boat carries two long 
shoots or skids and a gang of darkies is generally in waiting. When lading 
or unlading at night the scene is illumined by braziers, iron skeleton baskets 
suspending from davits attached to the railing and overhanging the water. 
When utilized a shovelful of live cinders is placed therein to which fuel 
is added as required. The flickering of its lurid glare produces most 
fantastic effects of light and shade as the swarthy '^hands'' pass and repass 
or stand grouped around the gang plank. As the steamer backs out to 
resume its journey the brazier is reversed by a dextrous whirl on its pivot, 
when the blazing coals drop into the swirling waters. 

Thursday, 13th. The boats did not start this morning until after six 
o'clock. There is a noticeable change in the landscape, the country beyond 
the river banks being much higher. Eleven hours later the steeples of 
Memphis hove in sight. It seemed novel once again to view some indica- 
tions of life and civilization. 

Friday, 14th. About noon we cast off from Memphis. Made but fifteen 
miles when tied up to a bank, not of clay, but of gravel. A new variety of 
timber appeared which was particularly restful to eyes that had so long 
looked upon moss-hung cottonwood forests. 

Saturday, 15th, To-day we covered nearly one hundred and fifty miles. 



124 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Many pleasant settlements were observed, some of whioh were known only 
to the pilot Tarried at Island No. 10 over night 

Sunday, 16th. Soon after starting, the boaf s crew informed us they 
expected to reach Cairo early in the afternoon. Great was the handshaking 
and mutual gratulation. Preparation is at once commenced for the ex- 
pected change in transportation from steamer to car. Our destination was 
reached soon after noon. No time was lost when the order to form com- 
panies was given. The men eagerly debarked, form^ed line high up on the 
levee, stacked arms and began to wait in true soldier-fashion. Many a 
grateful glance was caBt at the old craft that had brought us from the 
scene of countless miseries, and which had been our home for eight days. 
Exploration and sightseeing is in order. A train of box cars is discov^^ 
on an adjacent track dripping ice cold water. Investigation showed it was 
loaded with ice. An instant raid was miade, the fruit of which was most 
opportune for our invalids. The tent canvas that was used on the boat 
for shade purposes was found to have been ruined by the dropping of live 
sparks from the vessel's smokestacks. 

Monday, 17th. Bivouacked on the levee last night Exploration is 
continued. Everyone that is not too sick is enjoying himself, but at the 
same time is not unmindful of his less fortunate comrades to whom they 
supply ice and coffee in abundance. Fresh air and new scenery with 
river baths encourage all. During the latter part of the forenoon the 
writer was seized with an entirely unexpected attack of Mississippi or 
Tazoo Swamp fever as it was variously t^?med. He suddenly felt cold and 
chilly, his head ached, his face became pale, he tried to vomit but could 
not Flashes of fever followed. Muscles and joints seemed bruised and 
lame. He staggered as if intoxicated. In one brief hour it was evident 
to all the grim disorder had him in firm grip. 



CHAPTER VL 

From Cairo to Lbxikotok. 
August 18 — Dbcbmbsb 23, 1863. 

TUESDAY, 18th. The regiment was called up at ten a. m. and marched 
' to a train of dirty box cars that had jnst been run on to the le^ee. 
Each had snflScient board seats to accommodate with crowding 
thirty men. Several attempts we made to start the train. As there 
was abont a foot of slack between each two cars the backing and 
hauling of the locomotive would throw all their occupants with their 
muskets into a heap at one end thereof. The shouts and groans welling up 
in total darkness suggested pandemonium. A shaking up by the next fellow 
with inquiries as to who one might be, what he was doing, etc., confirmed 
the impression. At last we got under way hoping ere long to reach some 
place of rest. The only stop made during the remainder of the night was 
to water the engines at Anna, a pleasant village devoted to the making 
of bricks and pottery. None were there to greet us. Late in the forenoon 
we hauled up at Gentralia a thriving village on the prairie. Here hot coffee 
was supplied. The countenances of the mien instantiy 'changed ; they sang 
and cheered apparently forgetful of all their miseries. The stop was an- 
nounced for an hour only, but it was nearly one o'clock when the train pulled 
out amid considerable demonstration on the part of the multitude that had 
gathered at the station. This was the first time most of the men had seen 
a white person clad in feminine attire for nearly three months. 

At four o'clock we reached Sandoval Junction, where we were pleas- 
antly surprised with an order to debark and wait for another train. Since 
no information could be obtained concerning the time of its probable de- 
parture, the many sick lounged upon the platform, but the well strolled 
around in search of fresh air and exercise. Because the delay extended 
through the entire night quiet rest was obtained by all. 

Wednesday, 19th. At an early hour climbed into cars eastward bound. 
Every village along the road demonstrated its loyalty. About noon at 
Vincennes, Ind., we were bountifully entertained as on our outward trip 



126 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND IIOPANTRY. 

with coffee and sandwiches. There waa quite a season of social enjoyment 
with the throng beside the train, and, as after the cautionary whistles we 
slowly glided from its midst, all joined enthusiastically in singing "The girl 
I left bdhind m:e." When we reached Washington the town quickly 
bestirred itself, and a welcome lunch was aa generously but more quietly 
tendered. Every hour additional men were stricken with Tazoo or 
malarial fever. Their great craving was for cold water. The writer who 
experienced his first attack at Cairo, had been suffering from increased 
weakness and lameness, and at times from partial blindness. On arriv- 
ing here he left his car to secure a little fresh air and a draught of good 
cool water, but he staggered about on the platform like a drunken man. 
Dr. Sprague at once inquired of his trouble, and then instructed him to 
secure a cup of blackberry wine on sale there. His brother obtained the 
prescribed medicament, and, after entering the car, each drank half. The 
former at once laid down on the floor of his car and fell asleep. At flrst it 
seemed as if he waked quite often, but when he became fully conscious he 
found himself in total darkness, jolting over a very rough road which 
rendered some of the invalids so sore they could hardly breathe. At times 
during the day and night the cars were filled well-nigh to suffocation by 
clouds of sand which some essayed to escape by riding on top, though at the 
expense of increased dirtiness. 

Thursday, 20th. About nine a. m. the train bearing the Seventh rolled 
into the station at Cincinnati. As the men staggered out of the cars in all 
stages of emaciation, many barefooted and all scantily attired, the sympa- 
thies of the citizens were at once aroused, and many had their most press- 
ing wants at once privately supplied. For example, one gentleman accosted 
a shoeless comrade, and, with the remark that he himself was formerly a 
Rhode Islander, tendered him a two dollar greenba<^k to provide the re- 
quired footgear. The offer was accepted with most grateful thanks, but the 
donor watched the recipient to see if the gift was expended a« requested. 
Even Uncle Sam must have been ashamed of the appearance of his boys, for 
a small supply of government clothing was distributed to the most 
destitute. At the Fifth Street Market Building arms were stacked. Within 
were served hot coffee, bread, and butter, cheese, boiled ham, boiled eggs, 
pies, pickles, apples, etc., sufficient to meet the cravings of every stomach, 
while equally appreciated was the abundant time allowed for stowing it 
away. When all had become thoroughly rested column was formed and the 
regiment marched to the ferry. After crossing to Covington it proceeded 
through the city to the Fair Grounds where camp was established near 
Licking River. Captain Daniels who had carried a leave of absence in his 



FROM CAIRO TO LEXINGTON. 127 

pocket since Vickgbiirg surrendered, started for home to-day, as did also 
Lieutenant Hunt, who received one the day we left Milldale for Kentucky. 
Sergt. Egek Green, of Company E, was told just before leaving Mississippi 
that another was to be promoted over him to the position of orderly 
sergeant. Coupled with this was the intimation that he had best keep still 
as he, the informiant, intended to have him transferred to his own company 
and would place him in the same position there. However, when the regi- 
ment reached Cincinnati the same officer stated that himself had been de- 
tailed for duty at New Haven, Conn. Lieut. Winthrop AL Moore was in 
charge of the United States Draft Rendezvous at Orapevine Point, Fair- 
haven, near New Haven, Conn., for a time, and Sergeant Green went also, 
whence he was mustered out at the close of the war. 

Friday, 21st. There were barely enough well men this morning to 
mount guard. All who are able are washing and patching their clothes. 
There was a noticeable activity in the barber's trade, also continual bath- 
ing in the Licking by men and officers alike. Captain Allen narrowly 
escaped death from drowning, as he remained unconscious nearly two hours 
after his rescue by Lieut. Benjamin G. Perkins and Corp. B. C. Phillips. 
His resuscitaton was due to the faithful endeavors of Dr. Cory. By evening 
all appeared surprisingly presentable — ^barring their tattered clothing. 

Saturday, 22d. This day was also devoted to the improvement of 
body and raiment. 

Sunday, 23d. In early morning camp is broken, the raiment marches 
to the railroad and takes cars for Lexington and Nicholasville, arriving at 
the latter place at eight p. m. More than fifty are helplessly ill and many 
others are unable to perform any duty. The former are placed for the 
night in a church, while the comparatively well bivouac in the vicinity of 
the depot. Nearly all went to bed supperless for they are too weary to 
bnild a fire. Comrade Orlando Smith observes some officers have a weak- 
ness for keeping troops moving on Sunday. He objects to the practice. 

Monday, 24th. This morning all able to march sling their knapsacks 
and other accoutrements and move over the Lancaster Pike five miles, or to 
within two miles of Camp Nelson, when the regiment is filed to the left 
across a number of fields. Here is found a beautiful shady sloping rocky 
grove with an abundance of the excellent water, a most satisfactory camp 
ground. The more than half a hundred who passed the night in church 
were moved into another as illy-adapted to hospital use as the former. 
Jnst at night, however, another transfer was made, this time to an 
unfinished square brick building with a four-pitched roof originally con- 
structed by colored men for a schoolhouse. The outside trimmings are 



128 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

unpainted and weather stained, inside trimmings are entirely lacking. 
There are neither plastering, sheathing nor ceiling, only bare rough studs, 
and roof boards, the latter everywhere splintered by the shingle nails. 
Neither is there a desk, seat, window, or door. Nearly one hundred and 
fifty patients were quartered in this hospital, temporarily it was under- 
stood, of whom the writer was one. All were ill with the Yazoo fever. The 
nurses were of their comlrades. 

Tuesday, 25th. The camp has been christened Camp Parke, in honor 
of our corps com!mander. It is referred to by some as Gamp Hickman, on 
account of its proximity to the bridge so named, that crossed the Kentucky 
Eiver near by. The very few men who were physically qualified are busy 
bringing things to order. 

Wednesday, 26th. There are barely suflScient able-bodied men for 
guard duty. New cases of fever develop each day, and there is some alarm 
as to the continuance of the trouble. 

Thursday, 27th. Mule wagons capable of carrying thirteen persons 
called at the old schoolhouse this morning and transferred us invalids to 
the regimental camp, which was reached about midday. We were housed 
under ^^flys." No improvement is noticeable in the condition of any. 

Friday, 28th. There aire not enough well men properly to perform 
camp duty, despite the fact all could purchase milk, butter, cheese, eggs, 
poultry, vegetables, etc., in small quantities from the farmers. They did 
not fail to contrast their present environment with their active campaign- 
ing in Mississippi when it was difficult to obtan enough even of muddy, 
stagnant water to quench one's raging thirst. Of course, not a drop was 
then spared to wash either face or clothes. They particularly remembered 
one occasion, when, after getting thoroughly soaked, many saved all the 
water they wrung from their clothes and especially the streams that poured 
from their hats and then went supperless to bed. Next morning they 
marched fifteen miles on an empty stomach, for the people along the road 
assured them they were also dependent upon the United States government 
for every mouthful of bread and meat on which they subsisted. When a 
cistern was discovered it was only by a desperate struggle one could obtain 
any water. Men fought with clubbed muskets for a few drops of the precious 
fluid. When the supply was exhausted bs it soon would be by such a thirsty 
multitude, those unsupplied were obliged to resort again to the mud 
puddles. 

Sunday, 30th. The number of the sick still increases. Two men died 
yesterday and one last night. The writer still remains in hospital without 
perceptible change having been under the surgeon's care since leaving 




t^^^y^'o^i^Qw ^^zr J i> c^qm^y/ 







FROM CAIRO TO LEXINGTON. 129 

Cincinnati. Colonel Bliss is in command of the brigade and Captain Chan- 
Dell of the regiment 

Monday, Slst. The Seventh is mnstered for pay for the months of Jnly 
and Angnst, and are assured they will receive their money soon. Bergt 
William Harrington, of Company D, died this day at camp. 

Sbptbmbbr^ 1863. 

Tuesday, 1st. A pretence at company drill waa made just to exercise 
the men; it was the first attempt since we left Lancaster, in May last. 
There were just ninety men in the regiment present and fit for duty. 

Wednesday, 2d. It has become necessary to assign the color guard to 
dnty with their respective companies. Our own surgeons have been in- 
Talided for a number of days, and medical attention has been rendered by a 
detail from a neighboring regiment. 

Thursday, 3d. We receive four months' pay and are on the lookout for 
nutritive delicacies which we now can buy for ourselves. 

Saturday, 5th. Men are dying off rapidly. Captain Jenks was 
welcomed back by us all to-day completely vindicated. His experience 
after leaving the r^ment was as follows : Returning directly to Providence 
where he arrived ten days later, he consulted with his friends and the State 
congressional delegation. He was advised to see Major Vincent of the 
War Department, and accordingly repaired to Washington. There he suc- 
ceeded in obtaining: a hearing before the Military Commission that had 
recommended his dismissal. That tribunal informed him public notice had 
been given him through a daily paper of that city to appear before it on 
or about May 4th, but as the captain was engaged in active campaigning in 
Kentucky he never saw or heard of the order until then. He was also told 
that some person (otherwise understood to be Major-Qeneral Schenck com- 
manding the Middle Military Division Department), or persons had notified 
it that he had enlisted one James A. Briggs who was physically unfit for 
military service, but that no one had appeared to sustain those charges. It 
transpired that the charges against Captain Jenks were ordered dismissed 
at that time, but by a blunder of the clerk the record was made to read that 
the captain should be dismissed. He was now directed to produce the said 
Bri^s before the commission which he did, and the assistant surgeon of 
the regiment who examined him, and they made their statements. Later, a 
special order was issued by the War Department reinstating him to his 
command. 

This Briggs was a man small in stature but substantially built. He 
had been thrice examined before his muster by as many different physicians 



130 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

appointed by the government, and upon their report he was accepted. On 
September 29th, with Corp. Jesse Carr he was ordered to guard the tents 
and knapsacks left at Camp Chase. The detail was for twenty-four hours, 
but not until October 6th did they overtake the regiment at Pleasant Valley, 
being on duty continuously and without food save as they purchased pro- 
visions that chanced in their way. Briggs could not endure the strain and 
was borne on the rolls as sick at the Valley until January, 1863. He was 
finally discharged from West's Building Hospital, June 20th, ensuing. From 
erroneous inferences drawn from this circumstance by some, to us unknown 
individual, a cloud, for a brief period, and needless anxiety and expense were 
thrown on an officer whose record from every point of view is above 
reproach. 

Sunday, 6th. Our brigade receives orders to prepare to move in the 
direction of Enoxville as the men suppose. They are disheartened. 

Monday, 7th. Marching orders are suspended until further notice, and 
the countenances of the men correspondingly change. The regimental com- 
manders vigorously assert that their commands are unable to march. The 
Seventh was inspected by a medical board, and reported unfit for service. 
Our rations now consist of soft bread, potatoes, onions, dried apples, etc. 
There are numerous peddlers around from the neighboring farmhouses laden 
with fruit, vegetables, Kentucky pies, biscuit, and sweet milk, all sur- 
prisingly cheap. Most of them come on horseback. 

Wednesday, 9th. Marching orders were received at brigade head- 
quarters this morning. The Seventh is to relieve the Forty-eighth Pennsyl- 
vania at Lexington; the Sixth New Hampshire, the Second Maryland at 
Frankfort, Louisville, and Bussellville, and the Ninth New Hampshire, the 
Twenty-first Massachusetts, at Paris, Ky. At ten o'clock all able to march 
fell in and started for Nicholasville, whence a train conveyed them to their 
destination, arriving there in midafternoon. Camp was again established 
on the Fair Grounds, but this time where the State collie now stands, a 
mile from the city's centre. The sick (among whom was the writer who 
had rejoined his company though still unable to march), were transported 
in teams to the Nicholasville station, where they passed most of the night 
awaiting cars. 

Thursday, 10th. At a very early hour they were placed on cars which 
deposited them in Lexington at six a. m. Those who spent the night on the 
Fair Grounds marched over to the southeast part of the city to the barracks 
vacated by the Forty-eighth. These were situated on the east side of North 
Limiestone (or Mulberry) Street between Seventh and Eighth. A large 
detail was at once made to relieve members of that r^ment on duty in 



FROM CAIRO TO LEXINGTON. 131 

various sections of the city. Late in the day the sick were taken directly 
from the depot to the barracks and placed on iron cots nnder a hospital tent 
that had been erected on the lawn. This was the first anniversary of the 
departure of the Seventh from Rhode Island. OIney Whipple died and waa 
bnried in a meadow beside the Pike. 

Friday, 11th. The barracks are the storehouse of a Mr. Randall's hemp 
factory. It is of boards, 130 feet long and »ixty wide, with large doors at 
each end, and stands directly in rear of the main building which is of brick 
and fronting on the street. The day is indn«triously spent in fixing up our 
quarters. So few of our number are fit for duty they are obliged to serve 
every other day. Our work is to maintain order. Captain Ghannell is 
provost marshal and. Charles W. Hopkins was detailed as his clerk. 

Saturday, 12th. This morning the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania, the 
Second Maryland and the Twenty-first Massachusetts constituting the active 
portion of our brigade, marched away in the direction of Cumberland Gap. 
This afternoon the men on patrol duty down town were called over to the 
depot to quiet a few Pennsylvania fellows who remained behind their regi- 
ment to have a good time, enjoy some good whiskey, etc. About dark a 
freight train came along and all but two of the men were persuaded to 
mount to the top of the cars and thus follow their regiment which had gone 
to Nicholasville. The obdurate ones were conducted to No. 3 Jail, where 
they spent the night and were forwarded under guard next day to their 
officers. Just as the train was leaving, a Second Marylander who waa 
climbing up between two cars lost his hold and fell upon the hunters, one 
leg dropping between them. It waa frightfully crushed. He was at once 
removed to the General Hospital to undergo amputation. 

Sunday, 13th. Jail No. 3 had at some previous time been a theatre. 
More recently it served as one of the six slave pens where the dealers quar- 
tered their chattels pending sale. They were generally known by the name 
of the trader utilizing them. The army of occupation introduced numerical 
designation. This had been known as the Lewis Roberts pen or jail. It had 
been appropriated by the military authorities and was conducted as a 
military prison for political offenders, and all others detained by military 
authority. The provost marshal was its custodian and Sergt. Winfield S. 
Ghappell in immediate charge. Its site in 1896 was occupied by a carriage 
and blacksmith shop directly opposite a Roman Catholic church. 

Monday, 14th. Large quantities of apples, peaches, and grapes were 
raised about Lexington. Men isent to guard orchards were offered all th^ 
could bring to camp. Many owners residing in the vicinity of barracks 



132 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

permitted the soldiery to take all the fruit they desired from their orchards. 
N^roes peddled splendid fruit at surprisingly low figures. 

Tuesday, 15th. A frequent visitor at the barracks was a white, stone- 
blind musical genius, whose specialty was his violin which occasionally he 
accompanied with his voice. Naturally his repertoire consisted chiefly of 
southern airs, yet he was always surrounded by a group of interested sol- 
diers. He proved himself an expert in distinguishing the different denomina- 
tions of fractional scrip then in use and rarely failed to detect bogus 
specimens. 

Wednesday, 16th. From time to time the men had opportunity to witness 
slave auctions. At one such sale held to settle an estate were a number of 
comrades, including a commissioned officer, who stood stroking his chin 
while the auctioneer exerted himself to increase the bidding, which was very 
feeble, the highest hanging in the vicinity of f 125 for a young negro girl. 
The officer remarked that they seemed ashamed to bid, when a native slave- 
dealer observed the wench would bring f 1,200 but for the presence of the 
blue-bellied Yankees. 

Thursday, 17th. Many troops are passing on their way to re-enforce 
Burnside and Bosecranis. 

Friday, 18th. Last night twenty-five of the Seventh took cars to 
Cynthiana, where they were joined by seventy-five Ohioans. AJl then 
marched under command of Captain Allen to Leesburg, fifteen miles distant, 
where they arrived about daylight. The guerillas for whom they were in 
quest had all escaped, however, save one, and he was a peaceful citizen of 
course. These fellows did what they could to render the region round 
about uncomfortable for Union men of whom there were not a few. Another 
source of annoyance was the whiskey stills for which that country has ever 
been famous. 

Saturday, 19th. The provost guard arrested one hundred and fifty op 
more hard characters from New York, who had been hired to work on the 
railroad under construction from Nicholaaville toward Enoxville. They had 
been committing depredations on the way. 

Monday, 21st. About twenty-one hundred prisoners taken by Burnside 
at Cumberland Gap arrived on their way to some prison camp in the free 
states. They were genuine "butternuts" and professed to long for peace. 
From their appearance none would have suspected them of being soldiers. 
While tarrying here they have to be guarded and fed. 

Tuesday, 22d. Alfred Caswell, of Company B, died of consumption. 

Wednesday, 23d. Lexington is on the projected line of railway from 
Cincinnati to Knoxville, completed as yet, only to Nicholasville, and is con- 



FROM CAIRO TO LEXINGTOK. 133 

Bected by rail also with Lonigvilie via Frankfort, and thus through a 
branch of the Ohio and Mississippi Bailroad with Cairo, St. Louis, and the 
cities of the northwest. A system of turnpikes radiating like the spokes of 
a wheel extended to all the principal towns of the state. Hence it was one 
of the most important posts on the line of communication with Cumberland 
Gap. The streets ran at right angles and the suburban portions were very 
beautiful^ containing many elegant private residences surrounded by fine 
lawns or parks of old trees. An unusual number of churches were found, 
though none exhibited special architectural skill. About a mile and a 
quarter southeast of the courthouse on the Winchester and Richmond pike 
is Ashland the home of Henry Clay, owned by his rebel son John, while a 
mile to the west on the road to Versailles is the cemetery containing the 
state's monument to her favorite son. One of the residents of the city who 
frequently visited our regiment was Hon. Robert S. Todd, father of Mrs. 
President Lincoln. Her brother subsequently gave Colonel Daniels the 
following note: 

His Excellency A. Lihooln: 

My Kind FamrD: I desire introducing to your especial acquaintance my highly 
esteemed and Gallant Friend Brt CoL Percy Daniels, 7th R I. Vol. Beg., who remained 
here some time with his War- Worn Veteran Command and won golden opinions from all. 
And visiting Washington he desires paying his respects to you. 

As an Accomplished Gentleman, a Brave Soldier and Patriot, he is presented you by 

Truly your Grateful Friend, 

L. B. Todd. 

LEXisoTOir, Kt., Janry 14, 1860. 

Thursday, 24th. The writer is still in the regimental hospital. The 
feverish spells have ceased^ but the legs are too weak to support the body. 
One night this week twelve paymasters deposited each an iron safe at the 
provost marshal's oiBce their contents amounting in all to some three million 
dollars. They were awaiting a cavalry regiment to escort them through the 
mountains. 

Sunday, 27th. There is a sudden imperative demand for four or five 
hundred laborers to complete a certain portion of the defences. It is neces- 
sary to impress such as may be found. Captain Allen was given charge of a 
detail and ordered to secure the requisite number. Many colored folks were 
picked up around town, but the greater number were secured by surround- 
ing one of their churches during service. As the worshippers filed out, the 
women and children were permitted to depart in peace, while the men were 
conducted where their brawn could be utilized. 



134 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Monday, 28th. While in the hospital tent the writer occupied a cot at 
the end nearest the street On fine days the flaps were opened and peddlers 
of fruit and delicacies naturally sought a market there before passing to 
the barracks. A darky came upon one occasion bearing a basket of most 
luscious peaches. The invalid purchased half a dozen, placed them in a 
paper bag and thoughtlessly set it against a leg of the cot. When Dr. Cory 
made his rounds he sat down on the edge of the bed to converse with its 
inmate and in so doing upset the bag. The peaches rolled in different direc- 
tions upon the board flooring and he watched them until all had come to a 
stop. All the patients save the one most interested were on a broad grin. 
Turning to the owner the Doctor asked, "Whose peaches are these?" The 
unfortunate soldier acknowledged they were his. "Do you eat peaches? If 
I catch you eating peaches I will send you to the guard house!" rejoined the 
official as he moved toward the next bed. 

Wednesday, 30th. There has been a perceptible improvement in the 
health of the men since their arrival, though the inmates of the hospital 
regain appetite and strength very slowly. The routine duty of those who 
are well is agreeably diversified by frequent trips to Louisville and Gamp 
Nelson, as escort to prisoners of diversified type, who seem to be constantly 
accumulating. 

OCTOBBE, 1863. 

Sunday, 4th. Lieut. Edwin R. Hunt reports for duty upon the expira- 
tion of his leave of absence and is at once detailed as assistant provost 
marshal of the city. 

Wednesday, 14th. A woman with her two daughters, who at one time 
had a rebel flag floating before her door, and said to be the most violent 
Secessionist in the place, reported to the provost marshal for the purpose of 
taking the oath of allegiance. When John Morgan held possession of the 
town she sold her residence here (a fine possession) accepting pay in Con- 
federate scrip. With this she purchased cotton in Tennessee at the same 
time taking up her residence there. The Yankee invaders went that way 
also, and took possession of the cotton, whereupon she concluded she might 
as well be back in Lexington. The old lady and one of the daughters took 
the oath; the other prettily excused herself on the ground that she had 
always entertained a great deal of sympathy for the South. She was gently 
reminded of General Burnside's order that all rebel sympathizers should be 
sent beyond the lines, when she promptly replied "that would be heaven to 
this place." The young lady was allowed to return home, but next day an 
order was sent directing her to leave our lines within forty-eight hours. 



FROM CAIRO TO LEXIKGTOK. 135 

Thnreday, 16th. Lieutenant-Colonel Arnold was nntiring in his en- 
deavors to develop, to the utmost^ gentlentianly and soldierly habits in all 
under his command. By special orders he exacted a spirit of emulation 
among the companies regarding neatness of dress and military carriage. 
The exhibition of these characteristics for which the Seventh was often com- 
plimented, was particularly important in a city numbering among its 
inhabitants many whose wavering loyalty depended on the conduct of the 
government's defenders. 

Friday, 16th. Lieut.-Col. William S. King of the Thirty-fifth Massachu- 
setts is in command of the post. He is a strict disciplinarian. Especially is 
he particular that none of his titles be omitted from any communication. 

Monday, 26th. Sergt. David B. Wescott, of Company C, died of ohronio 
diarrhoea at the Oeneral Hospital, where he had lain a great sufferer since 
April last. 

Tuesday, 27th. The rebels have just burned some government stores 
at Dawville, Ky., and the farmers of that section are driving their live 
stock into Lexington for safe keeping. Colonel Bliss is in Rhode Island, 
and reports from there mention his recent marriage. 

Saturday, 31st. Regular bimonthly muster for pay. 

NOVBMBBE^ 1863. 

Wednesday, 11th. The following clipping from the Lexington Observer 
and Reporter is self-explanatory : 

Mb. EnrroB : Pennit me to acknowledge through your paper my indebtedness to the 
citizens and soldiers who gaye me such timely and invaluable aid during fire at my resi- 
dence on Sunday morning last To the soldiers of the Seventh R I. Regiment, who though 
strangers in our city, rendered such conspicuous help, I can but offer the earnest thanks 
of one whose chief pride is that^he was once their brother soldier. 

BespectfuUy, etc, 

L. B. ORIBGSLET. 

Friday, 13th. Mr. Henry A. Wood is here in quest of the body of his 
brother, Sergt. William F. Wood, who died at Nicholasville, September 10th. 
The public market here is open from nine a. m to one p. m. Tuesdays, Thurs- 
days, and Saturdays. The writer expects to be discharged from the hospital 
on the morrow. 

Sunday, 15th. Received two months' pay. 

Friday, 20th. Recently as the down town detail were passing a couple 
of civilians they heard one remark to the other, '^That's a new regiment, see 



136 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

their new gUM." The muskets referred to were the identical ones brought 
from the state more than a year previous. 

Saturday, 21st. To-day first news was received of Burnside's repulse 
of Longstreet at Enozville, Tenn. 

Sunday, 22d. Colonel King, post commander; Colonel Bliss and bride, 
the wives of many of the ofiScers and several hundred people from the city 
were present at dress parade this afternoon. 

Monday, 23d. Colonel King instructed Captain Allen to report to 
Captain Lang, provost marshal at Georgetown, Ky., with a sergeant and 
twelve men from a Michigan cavalry regiment. They left about four p. m. 
and reached their destination during the evening. Secreted in a barn until 
midnight they then began a systematic search of the neighboring residences 
to find, if possible, some of John Morgan's cavalry raiders. They 
secured but one, Sergt. Jess Hambreth, Jr. He had been sleeping in the 
woods two weeks, and this was the first night he had ventured to return to 
his family. The farmer's dogs barked so long before the captain and his 
men could reach the houses that all others escaped, though a number of 
warm beds were found evidently juist vacated. The expedition was out 
three days and nights. Morgan's mother and numerous relatives reside in 
Lexington. An uncle who is very wealthy lives but fifty rods from the 
barracks of the Seventh. He is reported to be conservative in politics. The 
guerilla chief himself was wealthy, but the United States speedily confis- 
cated all his property it could find. 

Tuesday, 24th. At Lexington the opportunities for social enjoyment 
were unusually favorable. The planters were wealthy and hospitable, their 
plantations extensive and well improved, their mansions stately and 
equipped outside as well as inside, with everything culture and refinement 
could suggest for their adornment. Such agreeable surroundings made 
inroads upon the spare time of members of the Seventh. Elderly maidens 
vied with blooming blushing damsels to entertain us and make the soldiers' 
stay a pleasant one. 

Thursday, 26th. Thanksgiving. This day's experience marks an era 
in the history of the Seventh. None will have the ingratitude ever to forget 
it Everything has been done by the loyal people of the city and its environs 
to banish from our minds regretful thoughts of home. On our own account 
we had determined properly to observe the occasion, so last evening the com- 
pany oven, an underground affair, was filled to its utmost capacity with 
pans of beans and with turkeys. Unfortunately at nine p. m. the top fell 
inward upon its contents. Prudence dictated the advisability of leaving the 
ruins untouched until morning. Her vindication was complete when most 



FROM CAIRO TO LEXINGTON. 137 

of the viands were exhumed in good condition, though, of course, a certain 
portion was mined by the admixture of ashes, bricks, and mortar. But the 
holiday feast was by no means thus resricted. On North Limestone Street, 
but a short distance from our barracks and nearer the centre of the city 
resided a Mrs. McAlister and her brother, Mr. George Brand. She was at 
this time President of the Ladies' Aid Society. Earlier she had taken the 
baildings of the Young Ladies' Seminary and turned them into a hospital 
for sick and wounded soldiers, conducting it for eighteen months at her 
own expense. Many comrades recall as a conspicuous example of her kind 
thoughfulness, the great tin pails of milk brought out for the tired and 
thirsty guard each morning before they returned to the barracks. 

Prior to the Rebellion Lexington was the seat of Transylvania Uni- 
versity. Jeff Davis and "Duke" Gwin are the most notorious of its two 
thousand graduates. A medical school was connected with it. One of the 
bnildings was burned a little more than a year ago, but the others are now 
nsed as a United States Military Hospital, at present in charge of a resident 
physician, Dr. Peter E. Bush. The main building is a fine structure, occupy- 
ing a commanding site in the northern part of the xity, and is one of the 
best appointed to be found. Its neat and inviting appearance bespeaks high 
praise for its steward. Dr. Jamieson, of Indiana. Early this morning 
numbers of huge baskets found their way into the dining-room, whence 
emerged turkeys, chickens, pies, sauces, etc., in well-nigh inexhaustible 
quantities. While kind ladies were spreading these upon the tables, divine 
services were held in one of the large wards which formerly had been a 
ehief lecture room. They were conducted by an elderly Kentucky chaplain 
who assured his auditors before commencing his remarks that he would be 
sure to finish before dinner was ready, but he became so enthusiastic that 
even upon the entrance of a tray of delicacies intended for those too ill 
to go down stairs he could scarcely refrain from speaking on one or two 
additional points interesting to themselves. When those compelled to 
remain, who, fortunately were comparatively few, had been well served, the 
commander, including several from the Seventh with a number of visitors 
were invited below while the band played "Home, Sweet Home." They 
found the walls decorated with evergreen wreaths and loyal mottos. The 
tables were adorned with red, white, and yellow roses cut from beets, 
turnips, and carrots indistinguishable at a little distance from the genuine 
articles as they lay embowered in natural appropriate foliage. It had 
already become evident that the supply of edibles greatly exceeded all pos- 
sible demands, and invitations had been sent to the Seventh and to Fort 
Clay, then garrisoned by two companies of the First Ohio Heavy Artillery, 



138 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

for both ofQcers and men to come and partake of the feast Onr men 
unfortunately had already dined while the ofiScers were about to sit down 
with General Foster and staff at the Phenix Hotel, but the Ohioans promptly 
responded. When every Union soldier within reach had been urged to par- 
take and even two unfortunates, representatives of the Rebellion, one of 
whom accepted the proffered hospitality with hearty good will, but the other 
with the sullen protest of indifference to every act of personal kindness, 
Mrs. McAlister ordered her carriage, and, piling it full of turkeys, oake, and 
candy, drove to our barracks. Out of that carriage load only one officer 
received a turkey, and that was Major Tobey, but the boys had a great feast 
that reminded them of home — ^a veritable Thanksgiving dinner. 

Another clipping from the Observer tmd Reporter is in order. "The 
following graceful acknowledgment has been handed us for publication: 

HSADQUABTBBS 7tH R. I. YOLS., 

Camp xtbab LBxiNexoN, Et., Nov. 80, 1863. 

Madam: Permit me as commanding officer of the 7th R. I. Vol., in the absence of 
Ck>lonel Bliss, to repeat in the name of the regiment the thanks which I have already had 
the honor of verbally expressing to you for the thoughtful kindness of the Ladies Aid 
Society in so bountifully providing for the comfort of the regiment on Thanksgiving day» 
Allow me to assure you, and through you the ladies of your association, that your kind- 
ness will never be forgotten by the men of this regiment whom it has added to the number 
of thousands of soldiers who had already had cause to bless you and your Christian work* 

I am. Madam, 

Very respectfully your obedient servant, 

Thomas F. Tobby, Major Camdg. 7th B. L V. 

To Mbs. MoAlibtbb, Pres, Ladies Aid Assn., Lexington^ ITy.*' 

This lady was living in Lexington in 1896 as the widow Eliza B. Wood- 
ward, very wealthy, and the queen of society. The writer, in behalf of hi» 
mess would also here publicly acknowledge the receipt of a turkey, a mince 
pie, and an apple pie, from a gentleman in the city. 

Sunday, 29th. Capt. E. T. Allen, who is on duty at post head- 
quarters as chief of the military detective police, was sent with Lieut. A. A. 
Bplles and five men this morning on a secret expedition into the interior. 
The regimental oven has been repaired and we breakfasted on soft bread,, 
baked therein last night. Parson Brownlow lectured in the city. 

From time to time during our sojourn here a big-hooded army wagon, 
piled full of all kinds of boxes from home, would drive up and unload in the 
midst of an anxious, jostling, staring, inquisitive crowd of soldier boys. 




Sff^fi, C^eorjEe W. CanftlDii. Srr^t. Jtjim H- iK Spta^kc. James E, Rowc. SergtH, John K» HulL 

S«iit, JanatlufiS* Befdier. Ser^. Amo« D, Shum^qav. Scrgt. J. P. Bti^y. Corp, fca*l( R. Darlioff. 

Sef^t. Praacia B. MUief. Utur. Wtnfd. S. Chappel). Corp, Andrew J. Whitccmb* S^tru CUarlt* L. Port€r> 

Scfgi, Jutm S. Notiage. Herben DanieU, Atigustc Joyenx. SfTfi* Dccalur M. Bciydtfi. 



FROM CAIRO TO LEXINGTOK. 139 

Often it seenued as if the contents of a dozen well-filled pantries were laid at 
our feet. The writer's consignment did not arrive until late this month, 
but it came and in company with goods for two comrades who came from 
the same neighborhood. There were shirts, blue mixed socks, white and red 
handkerchiefs, mittens, ginger cakes, pies, cheese, butter, and bottles of 
stimulants of varying strength and no uncertain flavor. His own invoice 
included two bottles of rich elderberry wine and a two ounce bottle of the 
essence of pepperment. These would have been neither mentioned nor 
remembered save for the circumstance that the latter and one of the wine 
bottles were broken early in transit, soaking everything, and ingratiating 
the stronger flavor everywhere even into the butter and the cheese. The dry- 
goods, when removed, were dry and stiff and colored like an elephant's hide. 
The comments of the bystanders were in accord with the successive revela- 
tions. Of the viands most were used, though perhaps sparingly and by 



Dbcbmbbb^ 1863. 

Tuesday, 1st. At Lexington vegetables were very cheap but firewood 
very expensive. One man with a load to dispose of was asked his price. 
'^Fifteen dollars," was the prompt response. Some points in Kentucky 
cooking became very noticeable. No matter what the kind of pie might be 
a big lump of butter was put in the middle of each before baking. Each 
hoecake contained four eggs. Their poultry was always baked, no persua- 
sion could secure a stew or chicken pie. If we desired those dishes we had 
to prepare them ourselves. Furthermore, the undressed chickens cost just 
as much as those stuffed and baked. No amount of reasoning nor any 
difference in the size of the birds, would alter the uniform price of fifteen 
cents. The first bargain took the choice from the lot and so on until the 
last, but though at times there was considerable rivalry, there was no 
lowering of price. Infrequently there were confidential bargains, a stuffed 
bird concealed a bottle of whisky, deftly inserted. On one occasion the 
trader, by mistake, delivered a bird thus dressed to an ofQcer known to be 
an enthusiastic temperance man. He was totally ignorant of the character 
of his purchase until, with his companions, he commenced the noonday meal. 
Then, to his chagrin and disgust and to the astonishment of the others, the 
bottle was encountered and drawn forth. His bright, cheery countenance 
was covered with dark clouds as quickly as a Chinese typhoon hides the sun, 
while the severity of his features was accentuated by the tones of his voice. 
Some of the party declared, however, the new stuffing was all the more 
acceptable, but ever afterwards a watch was kept for such fowl. The affair 



140 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

was a great event in camp. His brother ofiQcers long guyed him about it, 
some of them referring to it as the purchase of a rapid process distillery. 

Captain Allen returned last evening and reported that he had been to 
Paint Lick, in search of suspicious persons who were said to be in the 
neighborhood of a Mr. Moore, to whom he carried sealed orders from 
Captain Channell and where he arrived at 7.30 Sunday evening. He kept 
his men concealed next day to prevent suspicion. Meanwhile he labored 
hard to obtain information and secure evidence sufQcient to warrant the 
arrest of certain citizens who were said to have harbored the enemy's 
soldiers, but without success. After dark he took seven muskets and a 
sabre that Mr. Moore had collected from the battlefield of July 28th and 
proceeded to Lowell, Oarrard County. At the house of a Mr. Estol he 
arrested William Roberts, Company C, First Louisiana Cavalry, and Ben- 
nett Hicks, Tenth Alabama Cavalry. He pressed two horses from Mr. 
Estol to bring the prisoners to this city, where he turned them over to the 
provost marshal and the horses to the post stable. As the men had but 
one day's rations and the horses no forage, he was obliged to advance the 
cost of food for man and beast, as well as the shoeing of two horses from 
his own pocketbook. 

Tuesday, 15th. A colored woman and three children had been adver- 
tised for sale at the courthouse, but not a solitary bid could be obtained. 
The negroes, of late, have been very inquisitive about the termination of the 
war. They hope that freedom to them will come therewith. The members 
of the Seventh are not referred to here as soldiers, but as Union folks and 
Lincoln men. 

Wednesday, 16th. The draft creates a great scare among the Ken- 
tuckians. Citizens pour into the provost marshal's office for exemption 
papers, with which, of course, it has nothing to do. 

Tuesday, 22d. We are having an easy time. Have just set up some 
big stoves, and fixed many things to render us more comfortable and 
contented. A thought of moving has not occurred to us for a long time. 

Wednesday, 23d. To the surprise and consternation of all, orders were 
received this morning to march at once to Point Isabel via Camp Nelson. 
None had the remotest idea of the location of our destination, but finally 
ascertained it to be on the Cumberland River, south of Somerset, Ky. 
Later instructions came to join General Garrard there without delay or 
follow him en route for Enoxville. Colonel Bliss was in Cincinnati and 
Captain Joyce in command of the regiment. Captain Daniels has suc- 
ceeded Captain Channell as provost marshal. The day was spent in obtain- 
ing definite orders and making preparations. 



CHAPTER VII. 

Lexington to Annapolis. 

December 24, 1863 — April 7, 1864. 

THURSDAY, 24th. A fine clear morning and the men start ont in the 
best possible spirits for Nicholasville, twelve miles south. As they 
march through the city they wave adiens to their many lady friends 
and sing, ''When this cruel war is over." They bivouacked on the right of 
the road in front of an old house minus doors and windows, on the south- 
western part of the town. This was at once utilized for the benefit of three 
men who had proven unable to endure the march. The rough frozen road had 
ahready rendered the feet of most quite sore. Twenty sick had been left at 
Lexington. Just before reaching our destination a brief halt was made. 
A young negro appeared with a bag of apples, which he was peddling for 
some Hebrew sutler. Some of our boys went to buy. About the time the 
darky got the bag open he was tossed heels over head over it, and the bot- 
tom of the bag went up in a way that produced a sudden shower of fruit. 
This instantly disappeared and the bag only was left by way of consolation. 
Friday, 25th. Christmas. The men slept little last night, their bed 
was too suggestive of Fredericksburg. It seemed more like Fourth of July 
than Christmas, for the residents, of all colors and sizes, were celebrating 
with powder crackers and fireworks. Though we are rather lame, an 
early start was made for Camp Nelson, seven miles distant, which we 
reached soon after ten. Pitched tents on a hillside about midway from the 
entrance to Hickman's Bridge. This is at the south angle of the camp 
where the turnpike leading to Stanford, Somerset, and southeastern Ken- 
tucky crosses the Kentucky River. The banks, at this point, are precipi- 
tous cliffs of limestone which render the east and west sides practically 
impregnable, while the earthworks on the north side are very strong. 
When Burnside established his headquarters here last May but a few tents 
could he seen; the land was covered with a well-nigh unbroken forest 
Now there are immense storehouses, extensive barracks, and stables, and 
acres of tents. It is the headquarters of the District of North Central 



142 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Eentncky, in charge of Brigadier-General Fry. Col. S. G. Griffin is in 
command of the post. 

Saturday, 26th. Since yesterday a wintry storm has been hovering 
over US, consequently there is an abundance of mud. No one living in 
sandy, gravelly or rocky districts can adequately conceive the depth and 
adhesiveness of a mixture of rain and clay. All extra baggage is turned 
over to the government storekeepers and a list of needed supplies handed in. 
Some of these were issued this afternoon. 

Sunday, 27th. This place has been dubbed Camp Mud, No. 2. The 
balance of articles called for yesterday have been distributed. We don't 
move around much. 

Monday, 28th. Bains and snows though not very cold. Everything is 
wet! 

Tuesday, 29th. Left Camp Nelson this morning by a winding road to 
higher, smoother country; passed a little settlement, Bryantsville, distant 
six miles, and halted for the night eight miles out at Camp Dick Bobinson, 
where we tarried on June 3d last. Weather very wet and mSsty. 

Wednesday, 30th. Marched through Lancaster and six miles beyond, 
or fourteen miles in all. Bivouaeked on the farther side of Dix Biver in a 
swampy meadow, much lower than the road, and on its right. The entire 
valley was enwrapped in a very heavy fog. Since leaving Lancaster the 
country is new to us. 

Thursday, 31st. Before the fog raised the regiment wias on its way. 
Soon rain b^an to fall and continued nearly as long as we marched. 
Four miles out was the small though beautifully located town of Stanford, 
and five miles beyond that was a settlement of four or five houses called 
Hall's Gap, where tents were pitched in a slightly sloping stubble field 
about midafternoon. Horrible is not an adequate designation of the ex- 
perience of the men in the earth slush. As the weather was warm no 
special discomfort was anticipated though everything was wet, but black 
clouds commenced piling up in the western heavens and then tumbled over 
in a southeasterly direction, until they had gotten overhead. Snow now be- 
gan to fall in large moist flakes which clung to our clothes until every man 
resembled a frosted doughnut. Even when it struck the ground it did not 
melt, but mixing with the miid formed slosh, for the wind had changed to 
the northwest and the temperature commenced to fall and kept falling 
until at length, judging by our feelings, it reached twenty degrees below zero. 
There was a good rail fence on the lower side of the camp field perpendicu- 
lar to the highway. It was utilized at once for tentpins and fuel. 
The owner came out and protested, but most of it had already disappeared 



LEXINGTON TO ANNAPOLIS. 143 

and mofit of the remainder was in motion. Soon other fences were appro- 
priated; indeed, every rail the soldiers could discover was promptly con- 
fiscated. Tents were pitched as it chanced, and then the men took to en- 
joying such comforts as huge bonfires could afford. They dried, as far as 
possible, their steaming clothing, but though the clouds were breaking 
away and the stars came clearly out, one by one, the cold was growing in- 
tense, the wind was increasing in force, the portion of the body and rai- 
ment distant from the fire was freezing when that turned toward it was 
scorching and burning, while the flame found itself blazing fiercely on 
frozen ground. That night the writer with three tentmates went to bed 
early. Outside, the frosty tempest played havoc with everything; even live 
firebrands all ablaze went sailing through the camp. He slept some, per- 
haps, but it was a very light sleep, a sleep that waits, listens, and watches. 
The frame of our tent bent like reeds from the force of the gale. Every 
moment or two occupants of other tents could be heard shouting for the 
latest informaton as to how their neighbor's canvas had withstood the gale. 
8ome of the replies were the reverse of prompt though hurriedly enun- 
ciated; they were far from encouraging though distinctly accentuated, and 
they emphatically intimated that just then unavoidable circumstances were 
making extraordinary demands upon their attention. By chance the 
writer occupied the outside berth, the post of responsibility that night. 
His face was within six inches of the p^ most likely to be affected by the 
wind. Frequently and anxiously was the condition of the fastenings of 
that corner investigated. Soon he became convinced that it was only a 
question of time when the structure would yield to the gale, and so notified 
his chums. Their reply to his unfavorable predictions was decidedly un- 
complimentary. Suddenly with a fiercer rush than usual the tempest 
struck his canvas. He was reclining on one elbow, but dropped his head 
before the piercing frosty blast. The nearest peg was jerked from the ground 
and left a broad streak of black freezing mud in its track across his face. 
He seized it just in time to prevent the entire collapse of their shelter. By 
dint of hard work he managed to replace the p^, but to keep it there was 
apparently as hopeless an undertaking as to make a broom handle stick to 
water. However, he held the loose peg in position with one hand for a short 
time, and then with the other. Each change occurred at briefer intervals 
until both hands were almost useless and both were required to do that for 
which at first one sufiSced. Finally, he inserted his bayonet through the 
tentloop with the peg and into the ground at an angle. Soon the complete 
freezing of the ground relieved him from his task and their protection was 
secure. By this time the canvas was as stiff as boards, the edges cemented 



144 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAKD INFANTRY. 

to the mud, the flaps inseparably adhered, our blankets frozen to the solidi- 
fied mud around us, while knapsacks, haversacks, and canteens were firmly 
held by the petrifying soil. The closer one hugged the ground the deeper 
the inequalities of its surface penetrated the body when the position was 
changed. It was a wicked night. Sleep and rest were impossible. Day- 
light was long in coming. It was reported that some of the horses were 
frozen to death during the night. 

January, 1864. 

Friday, 1st. New Year's Day. During the night the wind subsided 
somewhat, but with the approach of mom it rose again, so that when the 
camp b^an to stir itself the weather was very severe. Careless soldiers 
who had forgotten to empty the water from their canteens found them 
split in twain. Our shoes, that had received a liberal coating of soft mud 
inside as well as outside, were of course frozen stifiF and hard. One mess- 
mate wore boots. He was the first to turn out that morning. He strug- 
gled hard inside the tent to get them on. A strap broke and he fell across 
our lame legs and sore feet. We emphatically remonstrated against a 
repetition of the performance. With ill-concealed disgust he abandoned 
his attempt for the time. Some fellows had already crawled out and made 
a fence rail fire as large as a small cottage and apparently hot enough to 
keep a naked nuan warm at the north pole, yet George W. Keith and George 
Hartshorn had shoes out at the toes and froze their feet. Our chum forced 
the tent flaps asunder and with one boot in his hand, the other half way on, 
he disappeared to renew the tug outside. Pat Fagan volunteered his 
sympathies and also told him he would have to wear those boots three or 
four days before they would go on. As soon as the next comrade stuck his 
head out off his cap went and started across the field. He raced after it 
Every now and then the cap bounded over an obstruction, the pursuer made 
a corresponding leap, but always too late to catch the cap. One by one the 
men crawled out to the fire and endeavored to thaw their wraps. 

When the teams stopped yesterday afternoon they sank axle deep in 
the soft mud and were thus frozen in this morning. Men were detailed to 
chop them out, but it was impossible to resume our journey, so every one 
made himself as comfortable as possible. The regimental larder did not 
contain enough at this time to keep a waterbug alive two days. Company 
D, therefore, purchased a good sized pig from a farmer, paying five dollars 
for it. The animal was artistically butchered, cut up, and distributed to 
the men during the forenoon. All day long the frost-laden gale raged until 



LEXINGTON TO ANNAPOLIS. 145 

the snn went down when an overcast sky betokened a snowstonn. The 
oldest inhabitants nnanimonsly affirmed that blizzard was the worst they 
had ever known. It was so cold that nose breathing between the fingers 
or throngh the mittens stnng so severely that tears ran down onr cheeks 
and froze there. Men ponnded their heads and especially rubbed their ears 
to keep the blood circulating. Many who had writing to do went to neigh- 
boring houses for that purpose, and they reported that ink froze on their 
pens while sitting as near great fires of logs in the enormous fireplaces as 
they could without getting scorched. Not until the 12th, when the men 
first saw a paper more than a week old, did they learn how cold it actually 
had been, and to how great danger they were exposed. Then it became a 
wonderment that not a man of the regiment perished. 

Saturday, 2d. Despite the severity of the weather and the iciness and 
roughness of the road, the Seventh again moves forward. An occasional 
log cabin is the only indication that the country is inhabited. During the 
latter part of the afternoon six inches of light snow fell. Just before daric 
the raiment turned into a thick wood on the left to camp for the night 
The men scraped away the snow from a spot of ground sufficiently large 
to spread a tent upon, and before which a warm bright fire was kindled. 
Congratulating themselves on the prospect of a good night's rest they 
rolled themselves in their blankets and laid down to sleep. The writer 
never slept better in his life. During the march he called at a cabin for 
eggs and milk, but instead was served with apple-jack. Late in the even- 
ing the stars shone out bright and clear. Miles made, ten. 

Sunday, 3d. This morning we passed Waynesburgh, two log dwellings 
situated at a crossroad. Later we discovered Cuba to be a solitary log 
cabin, nailed to a corner of which was a slab on which its name was 
scrawled. Twelve miles were accomplished, when, on some high rocky 
sloping ground seven miles short of Somerset, the men went to sleep in a 
snowstorm. 

The homes of the Kentucky mountaineers are rude, windowless, log 
cabins, with such a low doorway a tall man is obliged to stoop on entering. 
Generally they are elevated on blocks two feet from the ground. One row 
of logs forms the ceiling of the main story and the floor of the loft as well. 
This is reached by a very rude ladder extending through a hatchway. The 
chimney is built outside. Of course no division walls are ever found. 

Monday, 4th. It had snowed all night, but the weather was warmer 
and the snow thawing. Still the drying of tents, blankets, and coats was a 
di£Bcult task. The road was slosh and mud. After seven miles we marched 
through Somerset "a right smart place," for it is pleasantly situated on 

10 



146 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

high ground, and contains a courthouse, a jail, and two or three churches 
around a "Square" on the left of the main street, with three or four dozen 
dwellings and some negro quarters on a number of narrow, irr^ular, 
meandering side streets. The like of it we had not seen. Beyond the town 
the turnpike winds up and down among craggy cliffs and narrow trails, 
passing also heavy timber and rocky ravines. After three miles or more 
the regiment filed to the right into a thick heavy wood on the rocky slope 
of an immense ravine at a place called Pitman's Creek (though the writer 
saw no creek) and bivouacked. 

Tuesday, 5th. On waking we found everything frozen solid. The 
road was very rough and icy, consequently the marching was slow and 
tedious. At the crest it turns to the left and descends at first by an easy 
grade and then by a steeper descent cut in the face of the rock wall direct 
to the Cumberland River. Though the roadbed was very rough, it was 
coated with ice and sleet, hence we zigzagged down the slippery descent 
sliding and pitching from one catching place to another, while dizzy 
precipices threatened to engulf us on the one side and overhanging rocks 
to crush us on the other. It was simply impossible to bring down the 
teams though one of the ambulances was lowered, slid down by way of 
experiment after removing the horses and its entire contents a^ well. 
Crossing now the pontoon bridge we found ourselves on Point Isabel, which 
is formed by the juction of the South Fork of the river with the main 
stream, some nine miles south of Somerset. The view from the bridge was 
superb. Above the Cumberland was a raging, roaring torrent, dashing 
impetuously through its narrow prison walls, while below it meand^ed 
gently along mid peaceful, heavily wooded slopes. Three-quarters of a 
mile farther we passed along the western base of the hills of the point, and 
then turning obliquely to the left followed a mountain path up the hills. 
Early in the afternoon we went into camp northeast of the path, but on 
the western crest of the bluff high above and overlooking the Point. The 
ground was rolling and stony, hence no attempt was made at a regulation 
camp ; each company was ordered merely to keep as near together as con- 
ditions permitted. Slashed timber on every side contributed materially 
to the natural strength of the position. Just beyond and across the old 
road were some companies of the Forty-ninth Kentucky comfortably quar- 
tered in log huts. Miles made, seven. Not a few express the wish that 
the people at home who are grumbling at our slow progress would come out 
and see what we have to contend with, also put a shoulder to the wheel 
themselves. The road just passed over is comparatively a good one and is 
called a turnpike, but the inhabitants remark it is rather bad in the 



LEXINGTON TO ANNAPOLIS. 147 

spring, or, as one expressed the condition, '4t has no bottom at alL" Just 
before reaching the river we passed a large gang of men engaged in its 
repair, carting and breaking stone, etc., under the immediate direotion of 
a brigadier-general. He was the centre of interest to us, for that was the 
first time we ever saw a man of that rank at work with sledgehammer and 
pickaxe. 

Wednesday, 6th. We hear that some call this location Point Burn- 
side, and the men endorse the change for that officer with his East Tennessee 
expedition crossed the river at Smith's Perry only a mile away. There is 
a terrible shortage of provisions. Hard-tack is scrupulously divided even 
to the last crumb. The country is scoured for every kind of food. The 
writer with a comrade brought back the hindquarters of a fresh killed pig 
which served well to fill up the corners of our empty stomachs. A large 
detail was sent back across the river to assist the wagons down that 
dangerous hill, for all our food was therein contained. They safely arrived 
late m the afternoon. The ground thawed a little in the middle of the 
day. The sui^eon general inspected the regiment and pronounced it unfit 
for service. 

Thursday, 7th. All are hard at work building log huts for winter 
quarters. Colonel Bliss takes command of this post relieving Col. S. S. 
Fry. There is considerable inquiry as to how letters should be dated. 
There is no village in the vicinity and only one residence on the Point, and 
that is some distance back from the bridge. 

Friday, 8th. Pood is scanty. 

Saturday, 9th. The morning was very cold, but midday is comfortable. 
Our camp afforded an extensive view of the entire surrounding country. To 
the west, but a few miles removed, is Mill Springs where Colonel Pry killed 
the rebel General Zollicoffer. Away to the south is a peak towering high 
above all designated by the people here as Lonesome Knob, while another 
nearly as prominent is Pilot Knob. Still another close at hand and con- 
spicuous for its round summit well-nigh bare of vegetation is Mount Tom, 
upon whose rugged sides outlined against the sky one fancies he can discern 
zigzag footpaths. To the northeast is a gorge constantly filled with dove 
colored fog indicating the course of the river through the mountains, while 
beyond and indeed on every hand are peaks of inferior height numberless as 
the waves of the sea. All were anxious to explore their surroundings. The 
writer's first expedition was to a peak overlooking the rapids. The course 
was difficult, crossing a number of ravines with sharp walls through whose 
bottoms rushed brooklets and over whose sides tumbled cascades. From 
the goal of his ambition a view of the gorge was obtained for some two 



148 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

miles with its stratified sides irregnlarly worn whence projecting slabs, 
moss-covered or tree-crowned, threatened each instant to drop into seething 
vortex below, while the stream itself vexed at its restraint snarls and 
bites at the encircling arms, gnawing slowly but surely its way to freedom 
and peace. By chance a cave was discovered in an almost perpendicular 
limestone wall. After great exertion the entrance was gained, but he was 
not prepared to cross the threshold. Within was silence, gloom, and cold. 
Not a ray of light entered. Later he returned with a comrade well equipped 
with candles and matches. They found the roof a vast stalactite formation 
and the floor which seemed devoid of abrupt declivities correspondingly 
covered with stalagmites. For ages water had been working out fantastio 
forms and wonderful fancies. The stone was very soft and fragments were 
readily removed, one of the finest of which he has ever since retained. 

Sunday 10th. Regimental inspection. Sawmills and griistmills are a 
rarity in this part of Kentucky, but the corn dodger is an institution. There 
is no sieve to separate the husks so all is mixed up with water, patted upon 
a board, baked before the fire and served with bacon-fat or sorghum. To 
New Englanders this was not an appetizing dish and an increasing deter- 
mination to improve upon such a bill of fare became manifest. Two com- 
rades decided to visit the various farmhouses, the smoke of whose chimneys 
could be discerned in various directions. The result was that in a few 
days at some of these the black servants had biscuit and gingercakes and 
baked chickens to sell to the soldiers. After a time, however, this triangular 
bill of fare became monotonous. Our mouths watered for a real old- 
fashioned fresh pumpkin pie, with lustrous brown surface and a tendency 
toward brittleness. Then came the query. Can some cook be properly in- 
structed? Ab our visits to most houses had been cordially received, the 
purpose seemed feasible. The most promising one was selected and in- 
structions there given to prepare both a squash pie and a chicken pie. This 
last was a decided innovation. However, the pie was baked as ordered in 
a deep dish with an acceptable crust on top. We were enthusiastic about 
the particular meal at which these viands would be served. None present 
will forget its interesting incidents. When the first section of the pie 
was served out, protruding from its edge was biddy's foot with shining 
claws on all its toes. Another section contained biddy's headgear. None 
could doubt that all the bird was put into that pie. The cook may not have 
put in all the feathers but there were feathers enough. The squash pie 
came on in its turn. Its colossal breadth amazed our friends. It was 
very shallow. The filling barely equaled the thickness of the foundation. 
It had a jute fibre surface that resembled the discarded target of a well 



LEXINGTON TO ANNAPOLIS. 149 

patronized Bhooting gallery. Around the bord^ wai9 a high, hard, sharp 
omst. On top were numerous big black blisters that had br<Aen and were 
peeling off. When cut the filling was grayish wliite and very soggy. The 
flavor was indescribable. Our digestion which found army rations to be 
no obstacle worth mentioning, refused to accept this latest addition to our 
dietary. 

Monday, 11th. General instructions were distributed to the company 
commanders regarding the construction of winter quarters for the men. 
Each cabin is to be ten feet long, seven wide, three and one-half high, with 
tent roof. Two bunks are to be constructed at the rear end, one above the 
other. The fireplace and chimney are to be on the side. The writer applied 
for a furlough. 

Tuesday, 12th. A fine day and comfortable. Just beyond our camp 
in a picturesque old log cabin lived a mountaineer and his family. The road 
leading past was rough, and ran along the side of a steep elevation facing 
Mount Tom. In the intervening ravine so deep and so densely wooded the 
sun could scarcely penetrate it, a mountain brook that tumbled from one 
precipice to another until it reached the very bottom, danced along right 
merrily as in conscious pride at its accomplished feats. From an overhead 
windlass on the porch of the cabin downward and across but above the road 
and continuing a distance of some six hundred feet to the beautiful stream, 
was a line of wire suspended from the projecting arms of a row of poles 
planted upright in the ground. The curiosity of the soldiers was excited 
and they proceeded to investigate. Following the guiding poles they found 
the end of the wire securely fastened in a big rock directly beneath a 
splendid waterfall. While studying the rude mechanism they were sur- 
prised to see a common water bucket come sliding down the wire and stop 
directly under the fall, and, when filled, start on a return trip to its 
starting point on the cabin porch. It was an unexpected revelation of a 
Eentuckian to a Yankee. 

Wednesday, 13th. This morning there was an innovation — ^a brigade 
guard mounting. Captain Jenks with a foraging party from the Seventh 
and a squad of cavalry from the Eleventh Kentucky, started for Bloan's 
Hill seven miles away. 

Thursday, 14th. The foraging party pushes farther forward this 
morning and commences the discharge of its appropriate duty. If a 
farmer said yes, when asked if he had any oats or other supplies, he was 
furnished with a proper receipt, by means of which remuneration was 
secured; if he said no, everything was taken that could be found and no 
indemnity was afforded. 



150 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Friday, 15th. Very cold and disagreeable ; sky cloudy. Men are work- 
ing on their huts, but it is too cold to accomplish much. Some are nearly 
ready for ^^mudding" t. e.^ plastering the crevices between the logs and the 
inside of the chimney with the clay soil properly moistened. 

Saturday, 16th. The r^ment was very short of office's on arriving 
here. Dr. Sprague was post surgeon at Lexington. Captains Allen and 
Daniels were on post duty there, while Captains Stone and Potter with 
Lieutenants Peckham, Brownell, and Lincoln, were otherwise detained. 
Sergt. E. C. Cole was a witness in a court-martial case at Camp Nelson. 
Lieutenant Merrill received a ten days' sick leave December 31st, at the 
expiration of which he went on duty as ordnance officer at Camp Nelson. 
He did not rejoin the regiment until after the Poplar Grove Church fight, 
Sept. 30, 1864, while it was camped near the Pegram House on Squirrel 
Level Boad. Captain Channell when relieved from duty as provost marshal 
obtained a twenty days' leave and went home. He returned to us January 
18th and relieved Captain Joyce of the regimental command. On the 8th 
instant our officers at Lexington received intimation they were about to 
be restored to us. On the 13th Captains Allen, Potter, and Daniels, with 
Lieutenant Lincoln took seats in an ambulance then starting for Enoxville, 
Tenn., in charge of a Lieutenant Wagner. On the morning of the 14th at 
Camp Nelson, Lieutenant Lincoln was again ordered on court-martial duty, 
but Captain Stone and Lieutenant Peckham; made their appearance. The 
party now increased to five proceeded on their journey at one p. m. On the 
16th they reported at camp just before dark. 

Sunday, 17th. Lieutenant Wagner and his ambulance train tarried 
over night, but this morning moved on toward Knoxville. The men have 
now more comfortable and more enjoyable quarters than at Lexington. 
When most had entered upon the occupancy of their new tenements, Color 
Sergeant Stoothoff and his mess asked permission to remain on the old camp 
ground until theirs were entirely ready, for they were the laat to be con- 
structed. The Kentucky boys noticed those few remaining "shelters" and 
asked why they were left there. The color guard promptly informed them 
that those lone tents contained cases of smallpox. The Kentuckians 
governed themselves accordingly, and the sergeant avers the property was 
thereafter absolutely safe. A light rain fell all day and the resulting 
mud was somewhat disagreeable. 

Monday, 18th. A stormy day with corresponding increase of mud. 
The men are content to remain in their quarters. 

Tuesday, 19th. Three inches of snow on the ground this morning and 
fitill it snows, though clearing off cold toward night. A welcome guest 



LEXINGTON TO ANNAPOLIS. 151 

appeared in the shape of a newsboy shouting Cincinnati CammeroiaL A 
large mail arrived soon after. The roads are so steep and slippery supplies 
of all kinds are backward in their arrival. 

Wednesday, 20th. As Point Bumside is a military post, in addition to 
j^ard dnty, the troops attached are obliged to perform all manner of fatigne 
duty. Hence the camp ordinarily is very quiet. Captain Daniels with 
Companies B and G reported promptly this morning at post headquarters 
for the purpose of repairing the corduroy road at Sloan's Hill seven miles 
out. A little later a company from the Forty-ninth Kentucky reported also^ 
but teams and tools were not ready until eleven o'clock. They then set out 
over what might have been a road but seemed now well-nigh impassable, 
oar men forming the advance guard, the Eentuckians the rear. The battery- 
men that had been detailed and stragglers were allowed to follow on after 
as it chanced. The entire force numbered 150 men and were to be absent 
ten days. Some three miles out the natives were permitted to go into 
camp with instruction to be ready for work next day. The Yanks marohed 
nearly four miles farther and camped, the road getting worse and worse. 
It seemed very much like ascending a pile of stones, for it required ten 
mules to haul up a lightly laden wagon. Captain Daniels returned to the 
Point observing with surprise that the Eentuckians had commenced the 
construction of log huts. Lieutenant Perkins was sent to Lancaster to 
escort Mrs. Bliss to this place. 

Thursday, 2l8t The "corncracker" guide that piloted the fatigue de- 
tail was missing this morning. Subsequently the men were fired on one 
evening as they sat around a campfire. They naturally concluded the two 
events were related as cause and effect. It is a fine day. Paymaster Scovel 
arrives and pay rolls are signed. Five captains only are present for duty. 
Three teams are sent with rations to Captain Jenks's foraging party, and 
will return with such supplies as he has gathered. They to<^ out Captain 
Daniels with a wall tent and a grindstone for the fatigue party. It was 
nearly sunset when they reached the foot of Sloan's Hill, so but two wagons 
were hauled up that night. He found a good day's work had been accom- 
plished. After supper the captain and Lieutenants Peckham and Lincoln 
put up their tent and fitted up beds inside. Regular roll calls were held 
and one man was kept on guard during the day and two at night. There 
was a clear full moon. 

Friday, 22d. The r^ment was paid off. The morning report states 
170 muskets are present and fit for duty. Two citizens have been caught 
selling liquor to the soldiers. The fatigue detail suffered from the cold. 
The two lieutenants could not keep warm with five blankets, so they arose 



152 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

at two A. M., and sat by the fire nntil morning. A supply of straw has beea 
procured for to-night. 

Satnrday, 23d. The colonel has had a small cottage bnilt on the bluff 
to which he has the pleasure to-day of welcoming Mrs. Bliss. The other 
officers have tents furnished with log floors. They are nearly finished. 
Major Bcovel pays off the working party at its own camlp. There seems 
to be a probability that the Ninth Corps will go east with Burnside. 

Sunday, 24th. Corp. Nathan B. Lewis is appointed regimental post- 
master, which position he retained until the final muster out of the r^- 
ment. As it is a beautiful day the work on the officers' quarters is vigor- 
ously pushed. 

Monday, 25th. The singing of birds greets the ear. All turn out to 
welcome Captain Jenks and his party back to camp. Corporal Banning 
with fourteen men were left to guard the forage collected. 

Tuesday, 26th. The officers are procuring boards from logs sawn at 
the government sawmill. Considerable lumber is being turned out there. 
Captain Allen's quarters are ready for occupancy save completing the fire- 
place. His four sergeants, Barstow, Cole, Allen, and Barber, have been 
working on it all day. 

Wednesday, 27th, The weather is very mild^ seems like April at 
home. Several of the officers' quarters were occupied to-night for the first 
time. Genuine ^'openings" were held and the bright fires within the fire- 
places contributed not a little to the cheerfulness of the occasion. 

Thursday, 28th. At last the camp is completed. There is considerable 
visiting among the officers and among the men. Supplies have become 
pretty well r^ulated. The inhabitants of the surrounding country have 
learned that the paymaster has visited us professionally and bring in 
quite a variety of produce. The chief difficulty now is the scarcity of small 
change. 

Friday, 29th. The weather is delightful. Everything moves smoothly. 
There seems to be no outside world. There is a noticeable lack of sensa- . 
tions. This evening a brigade consisting of the Ninth New Hampshire, 
Tenth Michigan Cavalry, six companies of the First Ohio Heavy Artillery 
and a battery arrive from Camp Nelson. 

Saturday, 30th. This morning we had an April shower with thunder. 
Captain Stone with Lieutenants Hunt and Bolles and fifty men are sent out 
to relieve the detail that are repairing the road beyond Sloan's Hill. Captain 
Daniels returns on a mule in advance of his men having been ill two days. 

Sunday, 31st. Early in the day another shower. Early in the evening 
Old Boreas gave an exhibition of his lung power after the Mississippi style. 



LEXINGTON TO ANNAPOLIS. 153 

Then came a heavy downfall of rain that softened up all the roads and 
rendered the navigation of wheeled vehicleB difficult. 

Fbbbuaby, 1864. 

Monday, leit. Rained for an hour or two, but cleared up delightfully. 
Corp. John B. Stoothoff has received a furlough and starts for home to-day. 

Tuesday, 2d. Captain Allen receives a twenty days' leave. He also 
receives congratulations. The weather is boisterous. 

Wednesday, 3d. The captain departs in an ambulance drawn by four 
horses. As he started he complained he never was so jostled in his life. 

Thursday, 4th. A sergeant and fourteen men were sent out to relieve 
Corporal Hanning and his men who have been guarding forage since the 
25th instant Weather very cool. Varied rumors in circulation as to the 
fature of the Ninth Corps suffice to maintain constant excitement among 
the men. 

Friday, 5th. There is considerable comment on the liberal granting of 
furloughs. Of course the returned men are subjected to all manner of 
inquiries. 

Saturday, 6th. The writer unexpectedly received a thirty days' fur- 
lough as did also Corp. Daniel B. Sherman. But little time was required 
in preparation for departure. It is certain we must "frog it" to Somerset 
where we hope to obtain some conveyance to Nicholasville, though there 
is no regular stage line. A few intimate friends accompany us to the 
bridge. 

Sunday, 7th. Corporal Hanning returns with his squad. Reports 
a good time roughing it. About the first question asked was, "What's the 
news since wtfve been gone?" 

Monday, 8th. The resignation of Maj. Thomas F. Tobey is accepted. 
The men express much regret at parting with him, for, though one of the 
most quiet, he was one of the most popular officers in the r^ment. Earlier 
he had been a sergeant in Company D, Tenth Rhode Island Volunteers. 

Wednesday, 10th. William H. Johnson transferred from Company I 
to Company D, and soon after made a sergeant; is now orderly sergeant of 
the latter. 

Tuesday, 16th. The military post at Point Isabel has been christened 
Point Burnside. Following the road leading from Somerset to the water's 
edge we reach the pontoon bridge thrown across the Cumberland. At 
present the first object that attracts attention is the huge pile of commis- 
sary stores which the men are discharging from a number of steamers at 



154 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

the landing. One million rations all told are to be brought here in fourteen 
vessels. Mule teams, barrels, bales, and boxes are mingled in confusion 
with wagon masters, soldiers, and peddlers of Kentucky pies and ginger- 
bread. These are novelties in the line of pastry. The former are usually 
half an inch thick including the crusts between which is distributed 
ordinary dried apple, here and there a slice without sugar or spice. These 
are sold by the bushel. The latter never saw ginger and has made but a 
slight acquaintance with molasses. It apparently has been dried on the 
limestone slabs that abound here and is sold in ''right smart heaps." These 
delicacies ( ?) with an occasional chicken or turkey are vended by the entire 
population of the surrounding country. Matrons and maids, old men and 
boys come upon their horses with bai»kets well-filled, often eight and 
ten miles. Their garments of brown homespun remind us of the looms and 
spinning wheels stored in the garrets of our grandparents. Turning to the 
left we soon reached the government sawmill. This is a portable steam mill 
with a circular saw fifty inches in diameter and an alleged capacity of one 
thousand feet per hour. Near it are many teams busied in drawing logs 
and carrying away the sawn lumber. A huge pile of sawdust lies beside 
the mill, through which run different streaks of color, as red cedar, black 
walnut, oak or poplar logs have been sawed in succession. Timber of the 
best quality and of all descriptions is very abundant. To the rear of the 
mill is a windlass turned by horses by means of which logs are drawn from 
the river up an incline and delivered at the door of the mill. Turning now 
to the right a few hundred yards brings us to a long warehouse, a part of 
which contains commissary stores and the remainder quartermasters' wares, 
among which will be noticed nails, horseshoes, ropes, tents of all sizes, en- 
trenching tools, boxes of ammunition, bales of clothing, harnesses, telegraph 
wire, insulators, etc. Adjoining this is a smaller warehouse as yet unfinished 
but containing nearly two thousand barrels of flour. Several carpenters may 
be observed here engaged in making very neat desks of the beautiful red 
cedar for quartermasters^ clerks who constitute the nobility at the posts. 
A few cofiins may also be seen, which, fortunately at this time, are not 
often needed. Still farther to the right is a small forage house in which 
there is a little corn, less oats, and no hay. Just in the rear of, this on 
the bank of the South Fork an old Kentuckian is engaged in building a 
skiff, which he will tell you he intends using in catching salmon up the Fork. 
Beyond we find a shed in which are slings for shoeing mules, while to its 
left is a blacksmith shop containing eight or ten forges, and, close at hand, 
of course, a wheelwright's shop. Both are now crowded to their utmost 
capacity repairing wagons damaged on the road from Camp Nelson. Near 



LEXINGTON TO ANNAPOLIS. 155 

these shops is a small, bnt neat eDcampment of new white tents, in which 
the wori:inen live. Beyond this are the tents of the post gnard. On the 
left and somewhat elevated is a neat building in which Captain Pratt, 
post qnartermaster, has his office. Again, a short distance to the right, is a 
cottage, Ck)lonel Bliss's headquarters. At present he commands the sub- 
district of Middle Tennessee and the post as well. Just in the rear of this 
office a commissary warehouse is in process of erection, five hundred feet 
long and lorty wide. Beyond these the road leads away over the hills to 
Jacksboro. Upon the Buiftmit of the bluff and northwest of our cantonment 
is the site of the proposed post hospital. The prospect thence is diversified 
and picturesque. On the right are barely visible the smokestacks of the 
steamers sharply relieved against the limestone cliffs towering above and 
beyond them. Turning slightly frontward the cold green waters of the 
Cnmberland dance and sparkle as they rush on to seek the Ohio nearly a 
thousand miles away. At one's feet lies the bustling activity of the post, 
while across the South Fork are the unbroken wooded hillsides of Wayne 
County. At the extreme left of the site is a spur, from the summit of which 
however one may turn, the vaat primeval forest reflects its emerald tints. 
A short distance beyond the ground reserved for the hospital itself, Captain 
Bansom, post commissary, has built a house upon the edge of the cliff, 
while the cottage of Colonel Bliss is beyond that. To what more delight- 
fnl retreat could these gentlemen have conducted their brides, wherein to 
spend the honeymoon? And yet the oceanic expanse was by no means 
tenantless. Despite their imperceptibility there were scattered here and 
there small log huts environed by scanty clearings, wherein browse a few 
cows and sheep and a little produce is raised. Their inhabitants are oft as 
wild and untutored as the hares that skip through the rustling canebrake, 
bnt they are very firm in their expressions of loyalty. Their implements 
of agriculture are of the most primitive type, and their ideas of the world 
beyond Hall's Gap resemble a child's conception of the lands beyond the 
great sea, yet they possess a certain native acuteness and appreciate fully 
the value of greenbacks which they accept in exchange for their "Pyies" 
with wonderful avidity. 

Monday, 22d. The Fifth Kentucky Artillery stationed here fired 
national salutes morning, noon, and night The gunboats fired only in 
the morning. Gen. S. S. Fry has assumed command of the military sub- 
district of Middle Tennessee, relieving Colonel Bliss of that portion of his 
responsibilities. 

Friday, 26th. There is a large detail working on fortifications near 
the camp of the Forty-ninth Kentucky, and not far from our own. 



156 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Saturday, 27th. A conditional proposition fop re-enlistment was pre- 
sented to the men to-day, bnt it was not favored by a snflSoient number to 
make it operative with us as an organization. 

March, 1864. 

Tuesday, 1st. Snowed nearly all day. Biver so high pontoon had to 
be taken up. 

Wednesday, 2d. Lieutenant Peckham leaves for Lexington. 

Thursday, 3d. General inspection. 

Wednesday, 9th. Sergt. Chas. E. Porter and Private Charles H. 
Perkins returned last night from a thirty days' furlough. 

Thursday, 10th. Captain Allen returns after more than forty days' 
absence. Lieutenant Peckham returned last night with orders to report to 
Colonel Bliss for duty as inspector in this sub-district. There has been 
a camp rumior for the last day or two that seven thousand rebels are moving 
across the country less than forty miles from here. 

Saturday, 12th. Colonel Bliss who has been in command of this post 
for considerable time is relieved by Brig-Qen. Speed S. Pry. 

Sunday, 13th. A cold blustering morning. Lieutenant Perkins who 
has been post adjutant for Colonel Bliss returns to his company. 

Monday, 14th. Shell rings are all the rage in the Seventh. Every- 
body has from one to half dozen. The material whence they are made is 
gathered from the river bottom. Clothing was issued just before night as 
required. The weather continues disagreeable and the men stir about but 
little. The colonel accompanies his wife to Lexington. 

Tuesday, 15th. It was very cold last night, but the men were comfort- 
able in their snug quarters. Corp. Daniel B. Sherman and the writer 
return from a thirty days' furlough in Bhode Island. A snowstorm com- 
menced this evening. 

Wednesday, 16th. The snow of last evening has disappeared, where- 
fore walking is very disagreeable. There is a large detail working on the 
fortifications and rifle pits, which are being rapidly extended and improved. 
There seems to be a noticeable uneasiness throughout the post. The picket 
has been increased and a lieutenant detailed daily to command it. 

Thursday, 17th. Definite information was expected to-day about the 
reported rebel force not far away, but if any has been received it has been 
withheld from the men. 

Friday, 18th. There is much talk throughout the state about the en- 
rollment and draft of slaves. The government has ordered the former, and 



LBXINGTON TO AlOTAPOLIS. 157 

now with the call for two hundred thousand more men Kentucky is far be- 
hind. However, she has furnished as many by voluntary enlistment as any 
state under the alternate rule of the opposing forces. Governor Bramlet 
has issued a proclamation urging the people to obey the laws and the orders 
of the President without resistance. A flag-raising occurred to-day at post 
headquarters, to which was attached peculiar interest. In its honor the 
Seventh was paraded under arms, the Forty-ninth Kentucky and two bat- 
teries without arms. A number of patriotic addresses were made including 
one by General Fry, but the chief attraction was the fair donor of the flag^ 
Mrs. Ella Bishop Ransom, wife of the post commissary, who sat upon the 
platform. The cause is well set forth in a document that embodies alike the 
first official recc^nition of her undaunted loyalty and a tribute to its worth : 

HXADQUABTXBS IST BSieADX, 2HD DiVIBIOH, 

Camp Ella Bishop, LxxDveTOH, Kt., Oct 28th, 1802. 

Oenerdl Order$ No. — . When the rebels entered this portion of the State they treated 
with di8re8i)ect all eyidences of loyalty and heaped their inaalts upon ciUcens by hauling 
from the steeples and from the windows of their homes the emblem of their liberty and 
nationality, the flag of our armies, the ensign of our republican institutions and the banner 
we are so willing to defend. They trailed it in the dust and trampled it under their 
unhallowed feet and shouted it should wave no more over the City of Lexington, the State 
of Kentucky. But amidst their heUish reyeUing and traitorous shouts foUowing in the 
wake of the trailing banner, a bold and patriotic yet beautiful and modest lady scarcely 
eighteen years of age, one of Kentucky's proudest daughters, rushed forth with wounded 
spirit yet undaunted courage, wrested it from the traitor^s grasp, defied their threats, 
waved it above their heads and dared them to touch it with their poUuted hands. She 
recovered it. She saved it and to-day holds it proudly protected by gallant soldiers from 
Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio. As an humble evidence therefore of respect and admiration 
for such patriotism and worthy example this camp shall bear the name of that young 
bdy,'' Ella Bishop.'' 

By command of Brig.-Gen. 

G. CLAY SMITH. 

6. C. GoODLOB, Xieut. A. JO. C. 

The Lexington Observer and Reporter editorially remarks nnder date 
of Not. 22, 1862: ^'A very high compliment is paid to an estimable 
young lady of our city in a general order by Gen. G. Clay Smith, which we 
publish in another column. Miss Ella Bishop richly deserves every word 
that official paper contains. When Morgan's men made their last dash 
through our streets this noble young lady snatched from their grasp a 
beautiful flag, which they had torn from a corner building, and, waving it 
at them, held on to it in defiance of their efforts to get it from her until their 
departure.^' At the time the incident occurred Miss Bishop lived in the 



158 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

house on the south side of High (or Hill) Street, between Spring and Pattar- 
8on, occupied in 1896 by Mrs. Joe Millward. The flag was taken from Fitoh's 
drug store on the north side of Main Street corner of Upper, subsequently 
the site of the Payette National Bank. 

Saturday, 19th. The nights are very cold, but the days are warm and 
pleasant. Captain Daniels receives a twenty days' leave and is off in an 
ambulance which he expects will take him to Stanford. He also expects 
to escort Mrs. Bliss from Lexington to Rhode Island. 

Sunday, 20th. Cold, cloudy, disagreeable. Inspection by company 
commanders. In the evening there was quite an excitement owing to the 
burning out of an officer's chimney, but the prompt rally of amateur fire- 
men soon extinguished the blaze. 

Monday, 21st. There is absolutely no excitement in camp, so the men 
are visiting neighboring places of interest and indulge in some rugged 
climbing to attain commanding observation points. 

Tuesday, 22d. Quartermaster Pessenden's tent was burned to the 
ground. 

Wednesday, 23d. It is rumored there is a band of guerrillas beyond 
the South Pork of the river. Captain Stone and a party of men have gone 
in pursuit. All guards at post and camp are ordered to keep their mus- 
kets loaded. 

Thursday, 24th. Captain Stone and party returned this evening hav- 
ing lost a horse stolen from Major Davidson in the night. 

Priday, 25th. A rumor that the Ninth Corps has left Knoxville 
en route for the East, occasions the first excitement the camp has witnessed 
for a long time. No doubts are expressed. In the afternoon orders are 
received for all members of the Ninth Corps to join it on its arrival. Prep- 
arations are to be completed at once. The destination is reported to be 
Annapolis, Md. We suspect another expedition will be fitted out there 
for some southern point. Despite the showery day the men are out discuss- 
ing the prospects and all seemed pleased; they wear happy faces and are 
congratulating themselves upon a change. 

Saturday, 26th. A cloudy dismal morning, but clearing weather be- 
fore noon. Gen. Edward Perrero, who is in command of the Ninth Corps, 
has arrived. This afternoon orders are issued requiring all to be in readi- 
ness to join the column at ten o'clock to-morrow morning. There is great 
activity in camp. 

Sunday, 27th. The men are stirring early to complete their prepara- 
tions for departure. Regimental line is formed at eight a. m., but rest was 
allowed until the head of the column should appear. It then marched down 



LEXINGTON TO ANNAPOLIS. 159 

the side of the bluff and was assigned position in the same old brigade. 
Captain Greene was in command of the regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel How- 
ard, of the Second Maryland of the brigade, and Colonel Bliss of the divi- 
sion. The corps which numbered at this time only three thousand men 
halted here for dinner. As the men had plenty of money they crowded at 
once around the post sutler who attempted to take advantage of the situa- 
tion by raising his prices. The boys of one regiment combined to bring the 
sutler to terms or exterminate his plant. The oflBcer of the day, Captain 
Potter, essayed to send the clamorers back to their r^ment, but one of 
them hit him on the head with a stone, somewhat disabling him. In less 
than ten minutes thereafter the sutler's place was completely cleaned out, 
such of his goods as were not digestible being strewn all over the ground. 
At ten minutes past twelve the assembly was sounded, the Seventh took a 
last lingering look at the bold, majestic landscape, crossed the river, and, 
singing ^'My Old Kentucky Home," marched on toward Somerset. It was 
late in the afternoon when the column passed through that place, but when 
another mile had been covered a halt for the night was ordered at six p. m. 
The distance we traversed was ten miles. 

Monday, 28th. Broke camp at 6.20 a. m. The roads are very rough, 
and the marching hard and tiresome. Halt an hour for dinner. Pass 
through Cuba and bivouac near Waynesburgh at five. Nearly every man 
has sore feet. Miles made, seventeen. 

Tuesday, 29th. Rained very hard last night and many of the men got 
wet Resumed our march at 6.30. The road is very muddy. Pass HalFs 
Gap at 1.30. Half a mile beyond we turn from the pike to the right and 
halt on a high ridge parallel to the road upon which were scattered many 
large trees. The weather was thick and misty all day. Dry camping 
places are scarce, but ours was the best in view. Twelve miles have been 
accomplished. 

Wednesday, 30th. The damp soft ground was covered with snow when 
we awoke. The march commenced at seven a. m. It was horrible. Passed 
through Stanford and Lancaster halting for rest and dinner one mile from 
the latter place. At four o'clock we reached Camp Dick Robinson, when 
we stopped for the night, having covered twenty miles. This is the third 
time the Seventh has visited this spot. Rousing fires are built whereby we 
dry our damp clothes and warm our muddy, cold feet. 

This region is remarkable for its immense flocks of crows that every 
morning darken the sky in their flight to their feeding grounds, and again 
at night as they return to their roosts in the abundant forest. We found 
the broad roadbed literally black with them, all actively feeding on the 



160 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

scattered grain, save one lone sentinel, who, perched aloft on a large tree- 
top, keenly watched onr approach nntil at his signal the whole vast gather- 
ing rose in a single cloud and hied itself away. 

Thursday, 3l8t. Again we started at seven a. m. The men deem the 
morning's march rather hurried. The mud was deep and tolerably stiff. 
Grossed Kentucky Biver at Hickmian's bridge, passed Gamp Nelson, and^ 
when three miles beyond, halted on the west side of the pike in another wet 
grove of scattered trees. Miles made, twelve; distance to Nioholasville, 
where railroad transportation is available, four miles. The territory is very 
familiar, for we have been over the road a number of times. The men in- 
dustriously strive to clean up, to free their clothes from mud and moisture, 
and to see once more what shoe leather looks lik«. 

April, 1864. 

Friday, 1st. Awakened by heavy rain on our tents, there had been no 
reveille; an unusual circumstance. Major Scovel disburses two months' 
pay. Almost exactly ten months' ago he paid us here and under similar 
circumstances, save that then we were westward bound, now eastward. 
The day is dismal. We shiver with the cold, are sore and stiff. 

Saturday, 2d. Early in the afternoon in company with the Second 
Maryland, the Seventh marched to Nicholasville. There we were crowded 
into box cars, and, at six p. m. the train started, taking the last of the Ninth 
Gorps from the state, one year and two days from the time of entering. 

Sunday, 3d. Beached Govington at three a. m.^ but remained in the 
cars until after seven a. m. The quietude of the city and the ringing of the 
church bells, reminded us we were once again in a civilized country. Late 
in the forenoon we marched to the ferry, crossed the river and proceeded 
to the Miami depot. The right wing, Gompanies B, G, E and A, under com- 
mand of Gaptain Wilbur, took pajssage on a train with the Ninth New 
Hampshire and were taken over the Baltimore and Ohio road to Annapolis, 
Md., while the remaining six companies, under Gaptain Greene, took other 
cars and passed over the Pennsylvania Gentral to Baltimore. Thence by 
propeller they were transported to the government dock at Annapolis where 
they arrived at five p. m. 

Thursday, 7th. A march of two miles through that city and along the 
north side of the railroad brought them to a pine grove, consisting chiefly 
of tree stumps on a little sand hill, where the other four companies were 
encamped since early morning. These greeted the late comers with the 
familiar salutation, "What regiment is that?" 










A.f7.. WARirmi D 



tlARLAH 



A'.'Paqe 



CHAPTER VIIL 

Annapolis to Petersburg. 

April 8 — Junb 16^ 1864. 

SATURDAY, 9th. We are pleaaantly surprised by the receipt of a 
mail and also by a visit from General Bnmside. Late in the after- 
noon it commenced to rain. The night was tempestuons. Our 
shelter tents were well-nigh demolished. Toward noon (Sunday) it cleared 
up so that dress parade was held at 5.30 p m.^ the first for many days. 
Sergeant Bezely returned to his company, having been on duty at General 
Sturgis's headquarters since March 1, 1863. 

The chief subject of conversation among the men, was, of course, that 
which weighed most heavily on their minds, their ultimate destination, and 
the nature of the work awaiting them. The circumstance that their beloved 
leader had two years before led thence a maritime expedition, rendered 
the opinion plausible, that a similar manoeuvre was contemplated. His 
previous success had rendered the anticipation enheartening. Not until 
they were crossing Long Bridge after the review by the president, did they 
dream of the purpose of their removal fromi their '^Old Kentucky Home.'' 
When it flashed upon them, their countenances perceptibly lengthened 
though with unfaltering step they continued to press forward in the path 
of duty. 

Monday, 11th. A captain, two lieutenants, and fifty men were detailed 
to clear up our grounds, cut out stumps, fill holes, and sweep the premises. 
An unheralded arrival of a supply of ''A'' tents, created a sensation. How- 
ever, they were promptly distributed and quickly placed in proper position. 
Our camp now looks well-nigh perfect. 

Tuesday, 12th. Sergt. Henry L. Morse died of typhoid fever. The 
great National Circus is in town and receives abundant patronage. 

Wednesday^ 13th. The morning's train brought Captain. Daniels, who 
relieved Captain Potter of the regimental command. Lieutenant Brownell, 
Dr. Sprague, and Ex-Major Tobey. The lattejr was loudly cheered, being 
well beloved. A camp review of the corps was held for the information 
of General Grant. Line was formed at one o'clock. Arms were stacked, 
and, after a season of waiting, far to the south could be heard the cheers of 
a regiment mellowed by distance. Nearer and nearer came the successive 



162 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

cheers as the distinguished reviewers passed camp after camp. When they 
reached us we saluted with "Present Arms," but when they had passed the 
colors we came to "Order Arms," and gave the regulation cheers. The 
party consisted of Generals Grant, Burnside, Washburn, and Meigs, with 
their staffs. 

Thursday, 14th. Drill by divisions in the afternoon. 

Friday, 15th. Squad drill. Captain Joyce returns and assumes com- 
mand. 

Sunday, 17th. Battalion inspection at eight a. m.^ shower at two p. m.^ 
dress parade at sunset. Since our arrival smallpox has broken out 
Lieutenant Young was one of the sufferers. Each man waB then obliged to 
submit to vaccination. Sore arms were abundant and the regiment was 
well-nigh disabled for service. 

Monday, 18th. Notice has been received that twelve of the Seventh 
in various general hospitals have been transferred to the Veteran Reserve 
Corps, more widely known as the Invalid Corps. This reduces our member- 
ship, present and absent to 478, rendering consolidation imminent. 

Wednesday, 20th. General Bumside visits us. In the afternoon orders 
are issued to reduce baggage, to turn in all wall and "A" tents, to prepare 
five days' rations, and to be ready to move at an hour's notice. Quarter- 
master Fessenden is detailed sa brigade commissary. Gen. John G. Parke 
commands our (Second) Division and Gen. Robert B. Potter our (First) 
Brigade, which consists also of the Thirty-sixth and Fifty-eighth Massachu- 
setts, the Forty-fifth and Forty-eighth Pennsylvania, and the Fifty-first New 
York. Everything indicates immediate movement. 

Thursday, 21st. Colonel Bliss and Captain Daniels leave for Alex- 
andria on unknown business. Lieutenant BrownelPs resignation is ac- 
cepted. 

Friday, 22d. Captain Winn who has been for ten months on recruit- 
ing service in Providence rejoins his command. The resignations of Captain 
Green and Lieutenant Lincoln are accepted, occasioning general regret 
among their associates. Various supplies were issued and the "A" tents 
turned in. About eleven o'clock after the officers had gotten well settled in 
bed they had to turn out, strike their wall tents and sleep without shelter 
the remainder of the night, for the quartermaster heartlessly carried them 
off. 



ANNAPOLIS TO PETERSBURG. 163 

the railroad track. There were a number of new regiments in column whose 
knapsacks were stuffed full of all kinds of extras that men in older organ- 
izations had learned not to encumber themselves with. Consequently a 
large amount of clothing, overcoats, pants, shirts, and drawers was speedily 
cast away by them. Still considerable consideration was shown the new 
comers. The marching was deemed easy going by veterans. Much of 
the road lay through a wooded country rendering the tramp still more 
tolerable. During one of our early halts an old, grim, corroded bugle was 
picked up. The finder at once carried it to fifers William Kenneth and 
James Carpenter at the head of the regiment, who alternately sported with 
it making withal humorous attempts to repeat the brigade bugler's signals 
whenever issued. Barely did men find so much sport in a day's journey as 
was furnished by the comical use of that dilapidated instrument. At 
twilight we bivouacked by the roadside having accomplished fourteen miles. 

Sunday, 24th. Tramping away again at seven. At dinner it was 
alleged "Some one had blundered," and we were soon convinced thereof, 
for the next three hours were spent in traversing driftways. Not until 
four o'clock was the smooth pike regained, but so arduous was the effort to 
the raw recruit a halt for the night was ordered at five. Miles made, 
eighteen; distance from Washington, ten. 

Monday, 25th. A heavy rain accompanied by a strong wind that set 
in about midnight rendered marching toilsome and slow. It was nearly 
eight before we started. An hour later we reached an unusually swollen 
creek. To keep our clothing dry we stripped our feet and rolled up our 
trousers as high as possible. Even then the short men did not wholly 
escape a wetting, though they crossed on tiptoe. Soon after noon we came 
in sight of the dome of the capitol and all fatigue was forgotten. At three 
o'clock the column was halted, the men instructed to brush up, take a good 
rest, readjust their load and make as good an appearance as possible while 
passing through the city. As we entered from a new point of approach it was 
impossible to judge of our course. Demonstrations of welcome abounded 
on every hand and so occupied our attention we barely noticed the caution- 
ary commands to keep our lines dressed and maintain proper distances. 



164 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

finally camping two miles short of Alexandria after compassing fifteen 
miles. 

Tneaday, 26th. A day of appreciated rest. Five days' rations are 
issued. 

Wednesday, 27th. Line was formed at six a. m.^ but we did not move 
until 10.30. The intervening time was devoted to sport at the expense of 
onr colored visitors who were gathering everything they conld lay their 
hands on. Oen. Bnrnside rode through the corps eliciting enthusiastic 
cheers as he passed. Just before night we marched through the dilapidated 
village of Fairfax Court House and tarried a little beyond. The evening 
was cool, and campfires comfortable. Miles made, fifteen. 

Thursday, 28th. On the road at seven a. m. Our regiment holds the 
right of the corps, Captain Potter's company acting as advance guard. At 
eleven a. m. passed through Centreville, or rather its remains, for while a 
few houses are still standing naked chimneys are numerous. Turning now 
to the left on the road leading to the old Bull Run battlefield, at midday 
we strip our feet and wade that creek at Blackburn's Ford. At Manassas 
Junction Qeneral Burnside joined us about three p. m. Five miles farther 
on at Bristoe Station we pitched tents to the right of the railroad track 
and were well settled at six p. m. Ninth Corps men at once relieved such of 
the Fifth Corps as were guarding the railroad. In the evening we were 
delighted to receive a mail. 

Friday, 29th. Captain Allen and fifty men are detailed for picket duty. 
Gamp was moved to a more eligible location a mile away. Another mail 
came to hand in the evening. 

Saturday, 30th. On the return of the picket after relief by the Forty- 
eighth Pennsylvania, the regiment underwent its bimonthly muster at the 
hands of Captain Winn. 

May, 1864. 

Sunday, 1st. Sergeant Chappell is seriously ill with typhoid fever, but 
there is no hospital in which to place him for treatment. However, our 
quarters are well equipped, useful material being found in abundance at 
neighboring abandoned camps. 

Monday, 2d. Another mail. The ground is covered with bullets and 
shells, mementos of last fall's battle. 

Tuesday, 3d. Rained heavily last night. Have standing orders to 
be in readiness to move at an hour's notice. Colonel Bliss is military 
governor of Alexandria and Captain Daniels provost marshal. Thev had 



AKNAPOUS TO PETERSBURG. 165 

previonslj conducted a provisional headquarters at that city for equipping 
and caring for new regiments until they should be assigned to some per- 
manent position in the corps. Lieutenant-Colonel Arnold is reported to 
be on recruiting service in Providence. 

Wednesday, 4th. At nine a. m. orders were received to strike tents 
and prepare to move; before ten a. m. the regiment wa£ moving toward 
the front. We marched beside the railroad. Not until midday did the 
sound of distant guns announce opposition to Grant's advance. At seven 
p. M.^ tired and footsore we camped at Beale's Station, having covered 
twenty miles. The country was quite level. Occasionally a farmhouse 
was discerned, but not an animal or a fence of any kind, though abandoned 
camps seemed well-nigh innumerable. Captain Daniels and Lieutenant 
Peckham report for duty. 

Thursday, 5th. Reveille at 4.30 a. m. An hour later we are moving. 
At Rappahannock Station we were intercepted and ordered to wait there 
for the division supply train which came up at eleven o'clock, and subse- 
quently to guard it. Unfortunately one of the eighty-three wagons in 
column had broken down and this detained us three hours longer. Finally, 
at two p. M. we moved to the Rappahannock, where another delay wa« 
occasioned by the preferred passage of the Third New Jersey Cavalry. 
Once over the pontoons, the Orange and Alexandria Railroad was forsaken, 
and, inclining to the left, we struck across the country. It was nearly 
sunset when we reached Richardsville. Just south of this point the road 
diverges, the right and continuous one leading to the Culpepper Mine Ford 
of the Bapidan, the left and diverging one to Ely's Ford. The troops took 
the former road, the baggage train the latter. From this circumstance it 
resulted that the Seventh was represented in the Wilderness fight by one 
man, Hartford Alexander, of Company E. He had become separated from 
the regiment, and, naturally supposing it had continued to move straight 
forward, plodded along until he arrived at the forefront of battle. Falling 
in with the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania he performed his full duty during 
that terrific engagement. At nine p. m. we camped with our charge for the 
night, two miles this side the river. All the afternoon we listened to the 
sound of battle and frequently could see the smoke thereof. 

Friday, 6th. At six a. m. we were again moving. Some of the men 
were scattered along the entire train, some were set to watching a vast 
drove of beeves that accompanied it, while the main body marched in its 
rear. At nine o'clock we reached the Rapidan, at that time about 125 feet 
wide and two and a half deep. Each man at once stripped himself to the 
waist and waded across, dried himself in the sun ss best he could, dressed 



166 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

and started after the teams which they overtook three miles beyond, already 
camped close np to the left rear of the army on the farm of one John Green, 
a fine specimen of the old Virginia planter. Although he was a thoroughly 
Southern man he was a perfect gentleman, and entertained all who called 
at his house as hospitably as circumstances permitted, having been despoiled 
of well-nigh everything by our cavalry last October. On the neighboring 
hillsides were parked, not only the trains of our own corps, but of the 
entire army of the Potomac as well. Much of the plantation had been de- 
voted to the cultivation of clover, which was at once converted to the use 
of the Union army through the assimilative power of the cattle. Around 
our camp the tops and the branches of the trees were broken and splintered 
by projectiles, while the fallen debris, the underbrush, and even the trunks of 
the trees were still smoking. Of course the cannonading was very distinct, 
while frequently heavy crashes of musketry vividly recalled the engagement 
at Fredericksburg. At such times light, wreathy, sulphurous clouds rolled 
toward heaven as expiatory incense wafting upward the souls of its 
victims, while ever and anon, black clouds from the burning forest floated 
heavily along as if striving to hide from the gaze of the celestials the fearful 
slaughter therein transpiring. In its flames not a few of our wounded met 
a terrible fate. This angle between the Rappahannock and the Bapidan 
is most appropriately designated ''the Wilderness," for the clayey soil is 
so barren as to have attracted but few settlers. The slightly rolling surface 
is covered with pine and oak forest thickly interspersed with black jack 
and other scrub growths. Through this, in various directions, run country 
roads, with here and there a clearing and a house. Ghancellorsville, 
one of these settlements, owes its importance to the meeting there of two 
or three roads. Ammunition wagons could not be driven through the dense 
woods, consequently cartridges had to be sent forward on returning 
stretchers that had brought the wounded to the rear. Just at night cheer- 
ing was heard at the front. It came from rebel prisoners held just within 
our line, for their comrades were heavily pressing our right The sun 
went down red with the smoke of battle, wherein more than two hundred 
thousand men were anxiously seeking to destroy each other. As the even- 
ing deepened, the flashes of the guns at the front distinctly illumined the 
scene. Not until midnight did matters becomie even comparatively quiet. 
Great anxiety pervaded the entire army as to the final result. Sergt. D. M. 
Boyden wa« severely injured in the side to-day. Colonel Bliss had be^i 
ill several days at Alexandria, but on the receipt of orders to take charge 
of his brigade, he started at once for the front, where he arrived at 1.30 a. m. 
He assumed command at two a. m.^ and continued in the exercise thereof 



ANNAPOLIS TO PETERSBURG. 167 

almost until night, when he was overcome by the heat and taken to the hos- 
pital. He had not eaten anything for three days, and was, of course, in no 
condition to go into a fight, but he went and was thereby brevetted for 
gallantry in action. 

Saturday, 7th. At two a. m. all turned out, and, at three, attempted 
to move with the teams. We soon halted, however, blocked by acres and 
acres of teams. Not until broad daylight did our turn come to enter the 
road. Just before starting artillery opened fire half a mile ahead, and the 
rattle of musketry soon followed. It required three hours to move three 
miles toward the left, passing, meanwhile, a number of hospitals, hundreds 
of wounded searching for them, and many others lying in the thick brush 
bleeding and uncared for. About midforenoon a long halt was made near 
several thousand rebel prisoners under guard. They were a strangely 
assorted assemblage of warriors. Ther attire was a medley of all the dry 
goods store of the Confederacy. Though homespun, drab, gray or butternut 
predominated, the intermingling of raiment half-citizen, half-military was 
so absolute, it could scarcely be afSrmed that any uniform was possessed 
by them. Still, it seemed as though jackets and trousers with black facings 
and slouched hats were their court costume, though taken all together the 
assortment of headgear was as grotesque and varied as the balance of their 
clothing. But, indeed, it was pathetic, to note their knapsacks of woven 
carpets with coverlets and patchwork quilts and braided carpets used as 
blankets. The men themseles were lank, yellow, long-limbed, weather- 
beaten, rough-haired fellows, but they were terrible soldiers, possessing the 
hardihood of wild animals. They were as tireless on the march as wolves. 
A little after one we started again with our wagons, but soon made a long 
halt on the battlefield of Chancellorsville. The ground was strewn with 
broken and rusted muskets, half-decayed cartridge boxes, old canteens, 
remnants of clothing, solid shot, and fragments of shell, with skeletons 
more or less complete that had been stripped by turkey buzzards and 
whitened by the sun. Later we hitched along a few rods at a time, rarely 
a greater distance, and, finally, parked a little after dark at the crossroads 
west of Fredericksburg, but still on the old battlefield, and only two miles 
from where we were at noon. Our bivouac was in a little swampy clearing 
and white skulls glared at us from their empty sockets in the light of our 
campfires as we prepared our evening repast. 

Sunday, 8th. When we awoke the Sixth Corps was passing by toward 
the left on the Plank road to Fredericksburg. The Second Rhode Island was 
recognized in the column ; it had been at the front three days and numbered 
about three hundred men. They had orders to march twelve miles without 



168 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

halting. They said the object was to cut off Lee's retreat. Toward night 
a long column of cavalry went by. Heavy cannonading was heard to the 
south during the entire day. Saw Generals Grant and Burnside. Rations 
were issued. About seven o'clock we also take to the road, but after a short 
march stacked arms and bivouacked in a hard-trodden field on the 
Spottsylvania road, some seven or eight miles from Fredericksburg. The 
weather is growing warm. 

Monday, 9th. About noon a portion of the Ninth Corps came along, 
including our brigade, and the Seventh is ordered to take its place in 
column. Aiter an intermittent march with slow progress for five miles, we 
rested on the right of the road in a little swampy grove, on the border of 
which General Burnside had established his headquarters. It was reported 
the distance to the extreme front was less than three miles. The land was 
a part of the Harris farm. 

Tuesday, 10th. When we turned out this morning we noticed the 
general had a lot of papers and maps spread out before him. These he 
diligently studied until he was called to breakfast, of which he partook after 
preparing his toilet. Then himself and staff mounted their horses and 
rode away. At four p. m. we fell in and followed the brigade along the 
road in a southwesterly direction, down the slope of a broad depression, 
at the bottom of which followed a little stream called Ny River. Just as 
the Seventh reached the bridge, the rebels threw a shell, which passed high 
above us and struck in the slope a quarter of a mile to the rear, but without 
exploding. This made the men more careful and rather shy. They hurried 
across the bridge to where they were sheltered by the opposite slope and 
then filing to the left in the open field they lay awhile, the enemy at the 
same time attempting to shell them. The projectiles exploded overhead 
and one man only, Henry E. Searle, was wounded, and he in the hand by 
a stray fragment. The regiment was not engaged. A little later it moved 
to the left through the woods, and then by a road to the southeast, where 
they were assigned the duty of guarding the road. When the regiment was 
crossing the little bridge over the Ny, the writer was ordered to report at 
the division hospital at the Harris farmhouse, half a mile back. This was 
on high ground whence was obtained a good view of the country southward 
where the struggle was going on, though because of the thick growth of 
timber the rising smoke alone indicated the positions of the opposing lines 
and their batteries. Back of the house was an enclosed garden containing 
many varieties of plants in full bloom. On either side were outbuildings 
which were speedily filled with the wounded. Others were then laid in 
rows on the clean fresh grass outside as they were taken from their ambu* 



ANNAPOLIS TO PETERSBURG. 169 

lancee. One by one the poor groaning fellows would be laid npon a table, 
chloroform would be administered, a surgeon would wield his glittering 
knife and saw, and, in a few moments, a severed and ghastly limb white as 
snow but spattered with blood would drop upon the floor, one more added 
to the terrible pile. At right angles to the driveway were two fast 
lengthening rows of lifeless, mangled bodies, laid close together. Pinned 
to the breasts of some was a piece of paper bearing their name. These were 
the bodies of those who had died in the ambulances on their way to the 
field hospital. The bodies of a father and son lying side by side is especially 
remembered. 

Wednesday, 11th. The rain poured in torrents over the hundreds lying 
around. Few had blankets. Only the most serious cases were admitted to 
the shelter of the buildings. The rest were compelled to lie in such cloth- 
ing as they chanced to wear, saturated with water and stained with blood. 
During the night there had been heavy firing; at some points our line had 
advanced nearly half a mile. In the forenoon the regiment built a breast- 
work of logs and rails. At three p. m. it was ordered to recross the Ny. 
Just before dark it was returned to the road again where it finally sought 
sleep on the left side behind some other breastwork. It was at this time 
Colonel Bliss met with an accident that confined him to the hospital for 
several weeks, and which caused occasional suffering for many years. 
When the brigade recrossed the Ny every bridge was destroyed. The 
colonel as he returned to the farther side after dark, naturally undertook 
in jump his horse across the narrow stream, but jump she would not. Then 
he dismounted, crossed and endeavored to make the horse jump by pulling 
on the bridle. She would not, so he directed his orderly, George Colwell, to 
touch her with his sabre. He struck her and she jumped very suddenly. In 
the endeavor to escape her one of the colonel's feet slipped from under 
him and down the bank of the creek he went. The forefeet of the horse 
struck his ankle and sprained it so badly he was unable to mount except 
when lifted into the saddle. 

Thursday, 12th. At 3.30 a. m. our brigade formed and marched to the 
extreme right of the line. After a vigorous shelling of the ground in front 
by one of the batteries, an advance is made by the Ninth and Eleventh New 
Hampshire and the Fifty-eighth Massachusetts, followed by another line 
consisting of the Sixth New Hampshire and the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania. 
The Fifty-first New York and the Seventh Rhode Island were left in a 
piece of woods until 12.30 p. m., rain falling heavily during the entire fore- 
noon. At that hour Gen. S. G. Griffin ordered the two regiments forward 
to a position on the right of the Sixth New Hampshire. The boys went up 



170 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

under a sharp fire from the rebels in their works, and occupied the crest 
of a hill in front of their rifle pits, covered sparingly with stunted pines. 
As the order to advance did not explain where the r^ment was to halt, it 
kept on with colors flying and alignment well preserved, until it had 
attained an exceedingly exposed position. The Fifty-flrst New York, re- 
ceived no orders, but followed the Seventh. Presently they were orderd 
back, but finally came up on our right We used our knapsacks and the 
trees for protection. The firing was very sharp on both sides. Though but 
eight comtmissioned officers were present, everything went well. We received 
the commendation of General Potter for taking and holding a position from 
which two regiments had previously been driven. After dark we constructed 
log breastworks and buried some of our dead. We also gave such succor 
to the wounded as was possible. The former could be distinguished from 
the living only by their unnatural positions, or by the ghastly look the dim 
light of the young moon imparted to their pallid whiteness. We stumbled 
over them mid the shadows of the trees in our search for the latter. Could 
the reader have wandered through this forest thickly sprinkled with the 
debris of battle and seen us thoroughly soaked and weary with our wooden 
shovels, tin plates, and bayonet picks working beside the fallen, occasionally 
springing to armis at an alarm ready to repel an expected night attack, and 
ever and anon crunching hard bread while seated on the grass, perhaps in 
the blood of a comrade, he might have gained some realization of the 
horrors of war. 

The casualties of the Seventh at Spottsylvania are as follows : 

Ck>mpany A. — KiUed: Priyates BenJ. R. Aastin, Isaac N. Saunders. Wounded: 
Corp. H. G. Gaidiner in hand; Privates G. H. Brownt and Patrick Burket each in leg. 

Ck>mpany B. — Wounded : Private Holden Pearcet in shoulder. 

Ck>mi>any G. — Wounded : Private Thomas Turner in hand. 

Company £. —Wounded : Privates BenJ. T. Sisson* shoulder and thigh, Caleb HaUt 
in thigh, Augustus Joyeauz in hand, Henry F. Piercet in hand. 

Company F. — Wounded : Corps. Charles Rhowertst hip and arm, Nathan S. Bassett 
in shoulder; Privates Edward Carr in leg, J. W. Luther in back, arm and hip. 

Company G. — Wounded : Lieut Frederick Wiegand in hand ; Privates A. Wilson! 
in leg, J. D. CasweUt in hand, S. L. Tifft. 

Company H. — Wounded : Privates James Gradwell in hand, J. G. Harvey, J. £. 
Bice in leg. 

Company K. — Killed : Private George Simmons. Wounded : Privates A. B. Ken- 
yon in hand, Bsais Prayt Jaw fractured, Joseph Parker in hand, C. P. Rounds. 

Total Loss : — Died : Privates, 4. Wounded : Commissioned officers, 1 ; Privates^ 
22 ; number engaged, 225. 



ANKAPOL18 TO PETERSBURG. 171 

Augustus Joyeaux was a veteran of the French wars^ and could use 
the English language but imperfectly. While grasping his musket a bullet 
struck the two smaller fingers of the left hand and scratched the forefinger 
of the right. Seizing his mutilated hand with the other he raised it above 
his head and shouted that he had rather be killed in the French army than 
loee two fingers in the American. 

Benjamin T. Sisson was slightly wounded in the thigh and went alone 
to the rear to investigate and staunch the wound. Ascertaining the injury 
was not serious, he rejoined his company on the firing line, and almost 
immediately was shot in the breast. He was assisted to the field hospital 
by Comrade Arnold, of Company C, but became exhausted before surgical 
aid could be laecured. To ascertain the exact location of the second wound 
his clothes were opened, when he died almost instantly, for the bullet passed 
?ery near the heart. 

When it had become dark, pickets were, of course, thrown forward to 
prevent surprise. Joseph Taylor whs thus sent out He waa obliged to 
crawl carefully to the designated position where many of the Thirty-first 
and Thirty-second Maine regiments lay dead and dying. Just in his 
advance he heard a wounded man crying for water and naturally com- 
menced calculating upon his chances of safety should he undertake to 
relieve him. At the risk of his life he commenced to crawl toward the 
sufferer. Every little dead twig that he placed hand, knee or foot upon 
snapped, and then came two or three bullets — zip— zip. However, he finally 
reached him, raised his head and gave him water from his canteen. Much 
to Taylor's surprise the fellow made so much noise as to increase and draw 
the enemy's fire. When the latter observed this he exclaimed : ^^For God's 
sake carry me off!" The former could not carry him for his wounds were 
such that at every attempt he would cry out with pain, causing another 
fusilade, which compelled them to remain quiet for awhile. He was severely 
wounded in the right side, having two ribs shattered, whose fragments cut 
the flesh at every movement. Finally, the Good Samaritan spread his rubber 
blanket on the ground, and, after a time, got the sufferer upon it, bullets 
meanwhile flying over them more or less interruptedly. Then he dragged 
his burden little by little to the rear, still remaining, of course, on his 
hands and knees, until he reached his own picket line, when a comrade tock 
hold of the blanket and carried him back to where there was a light, when 
to the astonishment of the two they discovered they had brought in a rebel 
with a Thirty-second Maine man's knapsack strapped to his back. He was 
at once asked how he had obtained it. He replied that he had crawled out 
to get it and in doing so was wounded. Taylor informed him that as he 



172 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

had lost his own the day before he wonld take it. ^^I suppose yon will 
kill me," said the reb. "No !" was the reply, "You will be sent to the hos- 
pital." The knapsack was carried by our comrade until we reached Cold 
Harbor. It contained pins, needles, bandages, salve, a little Bible, and a 
picture of a lady and three children, perhaps the original owner's family. 
There were also a few letters which the new possessor intended answering 
when he had time, explaining how they came into his hands. But on arriv- 
ing at Gold Harbor he was first sent out on picket and then ordered to 
tramp for rations for the entire detail. He left his gun and knapsack at his 
post. Immediately after his departure the rebels attacked and drove in 
our pickets. His captain gave him a musket and told him to fall in with his 
his company. The regiment remained in line of battle all night Before 
light the pickets were again sent out. They crossed the breastworks and 
crept cautiously forward arousing no opposition. When Taylor reached his 
post he found his gun just as he had left it, but the knapsack was gone, 
and in its place a board from which he read this inscription with emotions 
indescribable : 

**He that lives to run away 
May stop to fight another day ! '^ 

Friday, 13th. During the early part of the night the regiment cut 
logs and built a breastwork for additional protection. At 3.30 a m. the 
intensity of the picket firing so increased the entire line was aroused. 
Toward noon, upon our left, matters seemed threatening, and the boys were 
kept well in hand for emergency. Some of the enemy's bullets passed 
above us, but one struck Acting Adjt. Darius J. Cole in the shoulder. He 
was carried to the rear, where he died in half an hour. Little fortiifying 
was done during the day, as we felt secure and became somewhat careless. 
In the evening there was some picket firing. Captain Daniels brought in 
two of the Ninth New Hampshire and two rebels, also wounded, that had 
been lying between the lines since yesterday. Our losses have been beside 
Lieutenant Cole, Corp. Francis W. Potter, of Company C, killed ; Wounded : 
Of Company B, Sergt. J. S. Nottage in head ; Privates A. Famham in head, 
and Peter Lamby in arms, severely; of Company E, Corp. G. F. Spragne, 
Privates, G. W. Keith, Philip Riley, in leg. 

Saturday, 14th. At midnight when all were sleeping, it was ordered 
that two-thirds of the oflScers and men should keep awake. At 3.30 all 
were aroused. While it had been very quiet along our part of the line 
the enemy frequently attacked the left, but were repulsed each time. Were 
improving our entrenchments when the sun appeared for the first time in 




'Sener. J^Mts B. 6fl£AfctH r^tuQt cJosbph ff. Sho*^^ 



ANNAPOLIS TO PETERSBURG. 173 

four days. We at once proceeded to dry our blankets, onr clothes, and 
onrselves, for we were thoroughly soaked, having been obliged to lie close 
to the ground to avoid the enemy's fire. Tents nnd^ snch circumstances 
were, of conrse, out of the question. It is generally remarked this is real 
soldiering, no guard and no provost duty, the first taste we have had since 
leaving Jackson, Miss., and there we had but twenty-four hours of fighting. 
The rebels had left three pieces of artillery between the lines. Neither we 
nor they could secure them, for the sharpshooters on either side would pick 
o£F any one approaching them from the opposite side. This afternoon one 
of our batteries vigorously shelled the enemy in that vicinity, our own 
sharpshooters skirmished down in front, driving back their men until two 
companies went out and hauled in the coveted guns. The ground in front 
of our position is covered with the enemy's dead, many of whom are terribly 
mutilated by shot. Our wounded to-day have been : Privates J. W. Bates 
of Company F in the foot, B. D. Smith of Company G in the head, Martin 
Carroll of Company H, who died June 18th at Annapolis, Md., and Samuel 
O. Follett* also of Company H, who was struck in the shoulder and died 
June 17th at Alexandria, Va. 

Sunday, 15th. A very quiet morning; only the sharpshooters are 
skirmishing. At noon a rebel battery nearly opposite opened upon us with 
shells. After expending twenty rounds which infiicted no damage and 
elicited no reply it ceased firing. Immediately we began to strengthen 
our line. There were but two or three spades in the regiment. Some of 
the men used boards from hard-tack boxes, which were very useful after 
the ground had been cut up with hatchets. The pits were banked up with 
a good thickness of earth, stout stakes were driven down against the logs 
and these were well braced. As night came on again rain began to fall, and 
ere long it came in torrents. When Captain Jenks went out to post the 
picket he picked up the bodies of two of our men, killed three or four days 
before. We cannot permit the enemy to bury their dead as it would afford 
them a chance to view our position, works, and numbers. Private Michael 
Crowley, Company Q, was wounded severely in the leg. 

Monday, 16th. Continued strengthening our works. About nine 
o'clock the sun came out affording opportunity to dry our blankets and 
our clothes. At three p. m. the Eleventh New Hampshire, which is next to 
us on the right, moved out to feel the enemy. They found him and were 
back in twenty minutes with a loss of two killed and thirteen wounded. 
Later in the afternoon each organization received a circular letter from 
General Grant stating that 21,700 men had left Washington to re-enforce 
this army, that Sheridan had cut both of Lee's lines of communication with 



174 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Bichmond, that General Bntler was within the onterworks of Fort Darling, 
and that Sherman would attack Johnston to-day at Dalton. Grand! 

Tuesday, 17th. A bright moonlight night. Later in the evening 
Captain Allen who was on picket, heard a force of infantry moving forward 
on our right, and feared it was the enemy manoBuvering to surprise us.. It 
proved to be, however, a decoy party of our own men, Corp. Lyman 
Whitcomb was killed. 

Wednesday, 18th. Just at daybreak and soon after three ▲. m. the 
raiment moved to the left, crossed a marsh and entered a grove at the 
foot of a hill, on whose crest the rebels occupied a strong position. They 
at once opened fire, not only upon our front, but also from a battery 
situated on a projecting knoll, considerably to the left, but on an exact line 
with our formation, which was the extreme flank of the brigade. The first 
few shots from the latter went through the tree-tops bringing down a few 
branches, but soon they found the exact range and trouble began. Two, 
fired almost simultaneously, wrought sad havoc. The first which was 
solid, struck Clarke Whitford's musket and sent it whizzing through the 
air, at the same time badly bending it. The owner carefully crawled after 
it, and, seizing it, held it aloft for the inspection of his comrades and his 
own contemplation, consolingly remarking, ^^ow I can shoot around a 
haystack!" It next struck the knapsack of Jannes Robinson as it was 
strapped to his shoulders, and twirled him over a full half turn. It finally 
landed in a group of Company H, at the same instant the second shot, a 
shell, was dropped there. Six were severely wounded, of whom three died : 
Richard Gorton,* John E. Rice,* and Corp. Samuel E. Rice,* each of whom 
lost a leg and the last an arm also. Oliver L. Ayers lost a leg, too, and waa 
discharged from a Washington hospital at the close of the war. J. G. 
Harvey and William Pay were the other unfortunates. When the corporal 
was taken off the field he was in full realization of his condition, and 
exclaimed, "Boys go in! I can't be with you any more! Tell them all at 
home I die like a man !" He passed away with scarce a struggle about five 
p. M. His remains were interred first on the Harris farm just outside the 
garden fence in the second row of graves whence they were removed to 
Grave 576, Section 6, Division A, of the Fredericksburg National Cemetery. 
At 10.30 A. M. Captain Winn retired from! the field on account of illness 
when Captain Daniels succeeded to the command, which he continued to 
hold by virtue of a special order of the brigade commander, Col. John I. 
Curtin, dated June 12, 1864, until he was commissioned lieutenant-colonel, 
save the two days prior thereto, when Captain Channell had command. 

Somewhat later, while the color guard was, like all others, still hugging 



AKNAPOLIS TO PBTBRSBURO. 176 

Die ground closely, for none could stand long and live, Color Sergeant Smith 
felt a sudden shock on his left, \rhere Corp. Daniel B. Sherman had been 
lying. Turning his head, he saw Sherman's hat, but the man was gone. 
Looking next to the right, he discovered his body some fifteen feet away. 
He crawled up to him and found the left arm gone, and the bowels torn out, 
also a twelve-pound solid shot lying beside him. Evidently the projectile 
which had come obliquely from the left, had struck first his gun, which 
had been resting against a bush, next the ground, at his left shoulder, 
taking off the left arm, and, at the same time, scooping out nearly a barrow- 
fal of earth from the spot he was lying on. It then bounded, knocking out 
his entrails and carrying the body across Smith and Sergeant Stoothoff 
who was on his right, a distance of more than twenty feet, dropped together 
with it, finally resting in his haversack. Had the cannon been elevated a 
trifle higher there would have been three killed instead of one. Corp. Amos 
A. Lillibridge dropped dead from the ^ects of a bullet through his head as 
he was returning to the battle line with a big stick or rail which he had 
secured a little to the rear for the purpose of strengthening the defenses. 
It was getting so ^^hot," such as could be spared, set about gathering any 
available material for this purpose. 

Meanwhile the balance of the brigade had obliqued considerably to 
the right, pursuant to a circular order, which failed to reach the commander 
of the Seventh. Hence it was exposed not only to a fire from the front 
and from the left flank, but from the right flank also. This was about 
noon. The loss had become so great that Captain Daniels ordered the regi- 
ment to fall back to some shallow pits in front of the Hundredth Pennsyl- 
vania where such entrenching tools as were at hand were vigorously used. 
He thence sent a written report to his immediate superior detailing the 
situation, and stating that he had but four officers and one hundred and 
twenty-six men present. The paper was returned with the following endorse- 
ment: ''Captain: I am constructing pits in the rear of your line and 
will relieve you in a short time. Protect your men as well as you possibly 
can. Tours, John I. Curtin." At 3.30 the men, now almost a handful, fell 
back to these pits, but just before dark moved again to the rear to some 
woods where they pitched tents and crept therein to secure what rest they 
could. It had been a severe, sad day, for they had been more exposed than 
at Fredericksburg, and had barely chance to return a single shot. So nar- 
rowly did they escape capture their dead were left on the field unburied. 
As they withdrew from their foremost position, Owen McEenna was lying 
on the ground supposedly sleeping, for he was known to be an adept in that 
art The men shouted at him and made great effort to arouse him, but in 



176 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

vain. Inyestigation showed him to be dead, having been shot through the 
head. 

The losses during the battle of Spottsylvania have been as follows : 

Company A. — Killed: Seigt Amos A. Lillibridga. Wounded: PriTate P. J. 
Mooney in wrist. 

Company B. — Wonnded: Privates J. D. CoUinst in leg (deserted), K A. Marchant 
in band. 

Company C. — Wonnded: Ctipt J. N. Potter, slightly; Sergt G. T. Batchelder in 
baok; PriTate John F. Allen in hand. 

Company D. — Killed: Corx>. Daniel B. Sherman; PriTate Owen McKenna. 

Company F. — Wounded: Lieut. A. A. Bolles in foot; PriTate C. O. Browning In 
breast 

Company O. — Killed: PriTates Roderick D. Smith, Manuel Open. Wounded: 
Lieut B. C. Morse in face; PriTate B. £. Wells. 

Company H. — Wounded: Corps. Samuel E. Rice* and William Fay; PriTates 
Richard Oorton, Jr.,« John E. Rice,* OliTer L. Ayers,t W. Fitzgerald. 

Company I. — PriTates James H. Gladding,* died July 8, S. N. Utton in foot 

Company K. — Wounded: Corp. Isaac Nye,* died May 80; PriTate E. S. Lewis. 

ToTAi< : — Killed : 10 men. Wounded : 8 officers, 12 men. 

Thursday, 19th. At 1.30 a. m. we were wakened, and moved with the 
remainder of the division, some three miles to the left of our line of battle 
and entrenched, forming a little later a portion of the left centre. Six 
officers and 171 men are present for dnty. The mail brought a captain's 
commission for Lieutenant Hunt and a first lieutenant's commission for 
Bergeant Ghappell, who is absent sick. Sergeant Pollensbee wrote; ''It is 
four o'clock in the afternoon. We are in the woods in line of battle wait- 
ing for the rebs to show themlselves. I have just received a letter. It makes 
mie lonesome to .think where I am, and how soon I may be no more. Yester- 
day I saw a number of comrades cut up in an instant, but here I am, and 
I must make the best of it, hoping to be spared to return home." He was 
spared. 

Friday, 20th. Ordered to fall in at three a. m. to repel an attack of 
rebel cavalry which did not appear, though there was considerable skirmish- 
ing a little in advance of us. As the morning wore away we became less 
vigilant, prepared breakfast and wrote letters in reply to those of the two 
mails received yesterday. The rifle pits are very good, and the rest is much 
enjoyed. The teams are close up to us and the officers visit their valises. 
Captains Winn, Wilbur, and Potter, also Lieutenant Perkins are with the 
teams, all being ill. 

Saturday, 21st. All slept well, the first rest for a long time. The day 
is pleasant and witnesses another of Grant's sidling movements. About 



ANNAPOLIS TO PETERSBURG. 177 

four p. M. we moved over our rifle pitB proceeding down a road in a south- 
easterly direction for an hour, when we reached a pike said to mn from 
Fredericksburg to Richmond. Moving along this about a mile our skir- 
mishers commenced firing, the enemy replying thereto, with a battery. We 
fell back to the left into a thick pine wood which skirted the road. The 
rebs moved a battery up and continued the firing. We fell back still more 
and then formed line across the road. Our brigade slept on its arms in the 
advance. The entire Ninth Corps came out to the pike and passed down 
a road parallel thereto. It was alleged we were distant from the Po River 
about a mile. Dr. Harris reported to-night 

Sunday, 22d. At four a. m. the regiment advanced at a very unsteady 
and irr^ular pace, covering the wagon trains. At two p. m. we crossed the 
Mattapony and then the Fredericksburg and Richmond Railroad. We 
continued on the east side of this for a time, but recrossed it at Guiney's 
Station. The brigade bivouacked on the crests of four or five hills beyond 
which was an open plain. We had compassed some fifteen miles and were 
said to be five miles beyond Bowling Oreen. 

Monday, 23d. At 8.30 a. m. we were again following the wagon train 
with irregular step. The thick, threatening clouds of the morning, gave 
way to bright sunshine. A fairly intelligent contraband told us his master's 
family wajs at home, but Mr. Goodwin himself was in the woods with his 
horses, negroes, and bacon, to save them from the '^Unions." This was 
the fashion with most of the residents, they remaining away until the army 
had passed. At 1.30 we halted half an hour for dinner, and then struck 
across the field. For an hour before dark we could hear heavy cannonad- 
ing, and it was reported a lai^e force of our troops was across the North 
Anna. Halted at eight o'clock about a mile this side. 

Tuesday, 24th. Not until 2.30 p. m. did we move toward the river and 
then on the wrong road. When the mistake was discovered we marched 
by the left flank to the crossing place. Three or four of our batteries were 
trying to engage the attention of a rebel battery that was concentrating its 
fire upon the bridge. Just before reaching it each regiment prepared to 
cross quickly and made the passage one at a time on the double-quick. As 
we approached it a shell exploded beneath it, but not a person in our bri- 
gade was wounded. After passing we rested for a time under some breast- 
works from which the enemy were driven yesterday. Then we marched to 
the right into a thick pine wood, where, after again resting with our skir- 
mish line thrown out until nearly dark, we moved forward a short distance 
and attempted to construct breastworks. Thrice the line was changed, 
probably because of additional investigation of the country in our immediate 

12 



178 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

front, bnt it was very discouraging and rendered it hard to get the men to 
work. A heavy thunderstorm now came up thoroughly drenching them. 
Then they worked with a will. Large trees were felled that furnished ex- 
cellent protection. When the shower was passed bright moonlight super- 
vened, though the lightning still played along the horizon. The enemy 
discovered our position and opened fire slightly wounding Horace Slocum, 
of Company A, in the back. We were thoroughly prepared for a bombard- 
ment, however, and were exceedingly disappointed when the demonstration 
ceased. 

Wednesday, 25th. An order was received in the moderately early 
morning to be ready to move at a moment's notice. The faces of the men 
perceptibly lengthened and their whispered conversation showed their 
aversion to change. About nine o'clock Lieutenant Peckham came along 
saying, ''Send for shovels and strengthen your works." Appearances were 
instantly transmogrified and heroically all went to work building a double 
pile of logs, between which was nearly six feet of earth. At ten o'clock 
Chester L. Franklin, of Company F, was mortally wounded while stooping 
over to fix his knapsack. The bullet entered the small of the back near the 
spine and came out under the right arm. His feet and legs were instantly 
benumbed. Though he made light of his mishap he died on the 28th. The 
men now became mcnre careful, and, as a general thing, kept well down. 
They still continued to labor busily, however, though exposed to an annoy- 
ing fire of sharpshooters. At 11.30 Sergt. Samuel F. Simpson was shot 
through the head just as he had knocked down a dry stub branch some five 
feet long that projected a couple of feet above his head from a neighb<Nring 
pine to place as additional cover on the breastwork. Sergt. Aaron B. War- 
field was wounded ; also P. J. Mooney in the wrist. 

The early part of the day was very warm, but toward night clouds 
gathered and rain descended. Captain Daniels was field officer of the 
picket, and, after three o'clock, was engaged in posting it It was a hard 
job, for in some places the woods were very dense. Just after dark he 
came in for food, wet to the skin. While eating, Colonel Curtin, brigade 
commander, ordered him to advance the line, a most arduous undertaking, 
both on account of the danger and the difficulty of mK>ving at all. Of course, 
sharp picket firing was the result. The losses of the day were two men 
killed and two wounded. 

To-day the Ninth Army Corps which, hitherto, has maintained inde- 
pendent organization was merged into the Army of the Potomac, Bumside 
waiving his superior rank for the good of the service. How this courteous 




Jo Old%2,udrtefFe|lmpaDy 



ANNAPOLIS TO PETERSBURG. 179 

and patriotic self-abnegation was rewarded by his inferior George G. Meade 
and by his superior Ulysses S. Grant, we shall subsequently see. 

At this time Hugh McNulty was cook for Company D. One day when 
its members were on the firing line cold, wet, tired, and hungry, he was 
sent to the rear to prepare sonve hot coffee and bring it up to the rifle pits. 
Retiring to an apparently safe location in a ravine, he gathered some fire- 
wood, kindled a blaze, hung his kettle of water over it and plumed hibself 
on the fine draught he would soon take to the boys ut the extreme front. 
Just as he had it all prepared and ready to remove from the fire, a stray 
rebel bullet pierced its side near the bottom passing out on the opposite 
side, leaving two holes as large as one's finger, through which the luscious 
coffee which the poor fellows were then waiting for, ran out to waste upon 
the ground. McNulty was mad. Cautiously avoiding the flying bullets he 
sought his comrades and apprised them of his misfortune. He asked Com- 
rade Dawley for his gun with which to shoot somebody for wasting it. He 
also endeavored to borrow Comrade Denicoe's gun, saying that he was 
going to kill some rebel that had shot his coffee kettle. At length he did 
secure a gun and he used it vigorously. 

Thursday, 26th. Heavy rain fell for an hour this morning. Our pickets 
report that as the trains on the Richmond and Fredericksburg Railroad 
pass they whistle. The rebel pickets then cheer as if re-enforcements had 
arrived. Early in the afternoon it was decided to advance our picket line 
as it was so near our main line as to render it unsafe. Ours was doubled ; 
on the left 505 men were sent out and moved forward. As they cleared the 
edge of the wood to cross a narrow opening the enemy's pickets in the 
border of the opposite grove opened a heavy fire, but our men pressed 
forward so close they discovered the enemy was strongly entrenched 
Their position was thus shown to be untenable, consequently they retired. 
In this affray Corp. W. R. Northup was slightly wounded in the mouth. 
Soon after dark we were ordered to hold ourselves in readiness to move. 
At nine o'clock the enemy advanced upon our position. The firing was so 
heavy it conveyed the impression they had occupied our picket line. How- 
ever, the assault was repelled, and, at 10.30, we were relieved by a brigade 
of General Bimey's division of the Second Corps, and recrossed the North 
Anna, the teams and artillery having preceded us early in the evening. 

Friday, 27th. At 1.30 a. m. we partook of some refreshment and laid 
down to rest, where we bivouacked on the 23d. During the latter part of 
the night and the morning troops were continually passing. At daylight 
our pickets were relieved without once being fired on. The officer in charge. 
Captain Jenks, said that at nine o'clock the rebels came forward in line on 



180 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

the open ground, bnt were compelled to retire. After that they were very 
qniet. As soon as our picket retired the bridge was fired at both ends. At 
eleven o'clock we moved up the road in a southerly direction two miles, 
when we crossed the railroad again and proceeded moderately in a south- 
easterly course until five, when General Potter gave the boys a rest for 
coffee. The tarry was unexpectedly prolonged until ten p. m., when the 
Sevefith started off rapidly, and marched until ''half paat night," the bright 
moon affording cheerful companionship during this otherwise tedious night 
tramp. We halted in a sandy cornfield, and, tired and sleepy, dropped in our 
places, oblivious to our surroundings. Miles made, twelve. 

Saturday, 28th. All were ready to move at six a. m., but line was not 
formed until an hour and a half later. Halted an hour for dinner. A little 
later waited on a large plantation two hours for the first division of our 
corps to pass. Then we resumed our march through a country thoroughly 
worn out, but planted with corn, following no road but taking a general 
southeasterly course through woods or bypaths as chanced. After dark we 
proceeded quite rapidly until nine p. m., when we were obliged to wait for 
some teams to get out of our way. At 11.30 the Pamunky was crosseld 
at Hanovertown, seven miles from White House Landing, and seventeen 
from Richmond. Not until after midnight, and when nigh unto Newcastle, 
was a stop made for the night on ground where our cavalry captured 800 
rebels that morning. There was no food for breakfast, nor in deed have 
we had anything of consequence to eat since yesterday morning. Twenty- 
five miles were covered to-day, notwithstanding our half-famished condition. 

Sunday, 29th. After a three mile march this morning we commenced 
to fortify for protection. In the afternoon the Fifth Corps moved up and 
relieved us, when the Seventh retired a short distance to the rear and 
rested. Last night we enjoyed the first good rest since the night of the 
23d, yet we are so sleepy that when we lie down a guard is placed over us to 
watch and waken us. There are still no rations nor prospect of any, but 
we have feaated on sorrel and green huckleberries. Quite late a little fresh 
beef and some coffee came to hand. It is reported we are twelve miles from 
Richmond. 

Monday, 30th. At seven a. m. the Seventh formed line on the left of 
the Second Corps. Remained there quiescent until midday when it was 
moved to the crest of a hill, where it continued to rest till nearly nightfalL 
Then it advanced a short distance and commenced constructing rifle pits. 
A space equal to our own front was left between us and the Fifty-eighth 
Massachusetts, which was on our right, the fortification of which, of course, 
was shared by the two regiments. This kept our entire force at work until 



AKNAPOLIS TO PETERSBURG. 181 

nearly midnight. Moreover, we had a strip of wood to cnt on onr front bo 
Captain Allen secured a detail from the Thirty-sixth Massachusetts to 
assist in the heavy work. During the day eleven hard-tack were issued 
each man, and at midnight bread rations were distributed, the first in 
four days. A small mail arrived this morning. Heavy fighting was heard 
on our left, probably by the Fifth Corps; on our right the Second Corps 
kept busy with its artillery and some infantry until nearly dark, evidently 
advancing their line. After we had lain down to rest we were disturbed but 
once, and that was by picket firing in front of the Third Division which 
was on our left 

Thursday, 31st. At nine o'clock Col. S. O. Griffin, commanding the 
Second Brigade, moved to the front, and, with the Forty-eighth Pennsyl- 
vania, as skirmishers, forced the enemy's skirmishers back nearly a mile. 
At midday the Seventh went forward to support those troops, while at 
nightfall our entire brigade was placed in the advanced line and com- 
menced to build rifle pits. The Thirty-second Maine was on picket in our 
front. The colonel had driven the rebels through a stretch of level thick 
wood to the opposite side of a deep ravine, at the bottom of which was a 
swamp. Their skirmishers made a stand at the crest of its farther slope, 
the ridge being covered with heavy hard wood timber and thick under- 
brush. Beyond this was their rifle pit The two picket lines were very 
close together. As night came on aggressive operations ceased. We laid 
down to rest and to sleep. All day long heavy firing was heard on the 
extreme left, probably six or seven miles away. This perceptibly increased 
as the day progressed. It was currently reported that our left, the Sixth 
Corps, was well across the Chickahominy. 

Of the inhabitants of this region little can be said, as their scarcity 
renders observation difficult. Most of the houses are at present occupied 
by elderly women and children, the men having gone to Richmond. Some- 
times young ladies are met who generally are most ardent advocates of the 
Southern cause. There is much that is heroic and worthy of admiration 
in the manner in which these people, accustomed to every luxury, accept 
the severe privations to which our Northern homes are as yet entire 
strangers. One who has paased through Ohio whose fertile fields were 
within the memory of those now living covered with primeval forest, can 
with difficulty realize that this is Virginia, whose estates have descended 
from an ancestry that received their title deeds two hundred and fifty 
years ago. He would suppose this was the new region, that the old. 



182 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

June, 1864. 

Wednesday, Ist. Warm and pleasant. Instructed to strengthen our 
works and hold the position, which is a bad one. We are on the extreme 
right of the army, and between us and our support is a very deep, swampy 
ravine. The pickets in front are from the Thirty-second Maine, a new 
r^ment. The rebel sharpshooters are very industrious. A small mail 
reached us. At five p. m. Captain Allen was detailed for picket duty. 
While the lieutenant he was relieving was indicating his own posts, he 
pointed out one of the enemy's posts, which instantly delivered a volley. The 
captain undertook to establish a new position, with the result his men 
were driven in. He sent them out a second time, but the rebs were where he 
first posted them. Finally, he established a line about two rods out, where 
they were permitted to remain undisturbed. No sleep was indulged in by 
any one that night. Sergt. J. H. Rowley was struck on the finger by a 
bullet. 

Thursday, 2d. This morning the men of our brigade were sent to 
the rear a few at a time, and then the pickets were called in to the breast- 
works. There they remained until the brigade officer of the day instructed 
them to retire and form in the rear line of pits across the swamp. Thence 
they deployed over the brow of the hill and waited for the division to move, 
acting as its cover. Meanwhile little pits were constructed behind the 
large trees. Here Corp. Edward S. Reynolds was killed and William Weldon 
wounded in the face. About two o'clock they fell back to the pits built on 
May 30th (Totopotomy Creek). When all the pickets had assembled, they 
followed the corps, which had moved some three miles to the left and 
bivouacked on a sandy plain, surrounded by thick woods and underbrush. 
They reached their several r^ments at the close of a severe thunderstorm. 
Arms had been stacked and the men were well settled, refreshing themselves, 
but waiting for their coffee which had just come to a boil, when, suddenly 
there was a spiteful rattle of musketry, repeated once or twice in the 
thicket. General Burnside and staff, who occupied a central position on 
the field, had just got their cloth spread and were ready to partake of a 
lunch, but it was instantly abandoned. They sprang into their saddles 
and every man jumped for his place in line. A panic seized the teamsters 
who waited not for orders, but crowded into the roads, lashing their mules 
furiously, and turning the air blue with their oaths. The rebels advanced 
rapidly, and, with cheers, delivering a murderous fire into the very midst 
of the troops. Our batteries hurriedly unlimbered their guns and opened 
fire with canister on the approaching host, mowing down literally every- 



ANNAPOLIS TO PETERSBURG. 183 

thing in front of them, while the rapid musketry of our infantry made 
awfnl havoc at such close range. What a fight it waa! An ezperienoe 
never to be forgotten. They advanced in a triple line and made three dis- 
tinct charges, bnt three-quarters of an hour of such amusement satisfied 
them, and, at 4.30, such as survived, fell back under the cover of their 
woods. Our brigade was not fully engaged so our loss was comparatively 
small, but neither before nor after were they privileged to hear such a 
terrific din. Late in the afternoon we were ordered to support a battery 
that was slowly firing to feel the enemy, but no resiK)nse was elicited. 
Here supper was partaken of, though campfires were forbidden. After 
dark Sergeant Barstow, with twenty odd men, were thrown out on the skir- 
mish line, which advanced quite a distance into a wooded, wet swamp, in 
which, also, the opposing line was posted. The main hostile force occupied 
elevated ground beyond. 

About nine o'clock this morning when most of our picket had been 
drawn in, some little firing broke the stillness that had reigned since day- 
light Thereupon a staff officer ordered Ira Grant and J. W. Oavitt to 
creep f.orward and see if the rebels were moving toward us and to give 
them a shot. They had not proceeded more than ten rods before they met 
two men, one of whom wore a red shirt and a tarpaulin hat. Qavitt mis- 
took them for Unionists and asked them if they had not better fall back as 
he could hear the rebels coming and even their conversation. Then he 
with the red shirt instantly drew his gun and told him to drop his rifie, 
but Oavitt continued to advance until the order had been repeated three 
times, the last time with the warning that he would fire if his command was 
not heeded. Sergt. J. N. Barber who was in charge of the post then shouted 
to Oavitt to surrender as he was a prisoner. Then he awoke to the fact that 
he had been captured and accordingly threw down his gun. The other 
reb now fired at the boys who were a little behind, and boasted that he 
had put a hole through a Tank as big as his arm. Oavitt was ordered to 
march along, as he had been fairly captured, and there was no opportunity 
to escape, for a column of their troops was advancing, in fact were well- 
nigh up t;o them. By this time the other reb had commenced to reload. 
The prisoner saw his last chance for escape was gone the instant the pro- 
cess was completed. He was clad only in pants and blouse without shirt or 
shoes, and a woolen blanket tied and slung over one shoulder. He stooped 
to pick a little thorn out of his foot and improved the opportunity by 
looking through the trees to learn how near that column was. Not dis- 
c,overing any signs of it he felt certain it was not very near. The Johnny 
boosted him with his right knee and told him to '^git along." Oavitt 



184 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

raised himself np suddenly seizing with one hand his captor's gun which 
he was carrying at the right shoulder shift, and, with the other on the top 
of his head, throwing him to the ground. Securing now the weapon the 
Yank drew back the hammer to shoot his foe, but he b^ged so pitifully he 
was told to get up and run, which he did passing between two Confederate 
pickets and into the Union line closely followed up by his captor. Grant 
had surrendered at the same time Gavitt did, and had taken his capture 
very much to heart, fearing he might be sent to Libby where a brother 
had been starved to death. When their captor was thrown he jumped 
and laughed with joy. The reb that was loading his gun took to his heels. 
The one brought in was James Lane, of the Seventh Tennessee, which was 
attached to EwelFs corps. This same day, Lieutenant Peckham, who 
was serving on the brigade staff, captured three rebels with a small pistol. 
Friday, 3d. At 4.30 a. m. the Seventh rejoined its brigade, crossed the 
pits occupied by the Second Brigade, formed line and advanced to the woods 
in front. We were near the extreme right of the army. Forward was the 
word from Colonel Curtin, and forward we went through an underbrush 
swamp so dense it was impossible to maintain line formati^on, sinking in 
its mud and water half way up to the knees, but driving the rebel pickets be- 
fore us. At the farther edge of the swamp we halted, laid down, and com- 
menced firing as best we could. At this particular place were very large 
trees, but quite few. The enemy who were less than fifteen rods distant 
and comparatively unseen replied to us for an hour or more with terrible 
effect. When there was a lull the men piled up a few logs and threw some 
dirt over them. Ammunition was sent for as our supply was nearly ex- 
hausted. Between nine and ten the firing became more vigorous, thus con- 
tinuing for three-quarters of an hour. Some batteries in rear of our posi- 
tion fired very effectively at this time over our heads. As this spurt sub- 
sided our pioneers commenced cutting trees for additional protection, the 
men using their bayonets for picks, and their plates and tin cups, and even 
their hands for spades. At one p. m. there was a half hour's outburst. A 
little later Colonel Curtin came up and ordered a few men to the extreme 
front to secure if possible an enfilading fire on the enemy's line. No sooner 
had they gone over than the hostile line opened more enei^etically than 
ever before. It was as impossible for a man to expose himself without be- 
ing hit as it is to go out into a rainstorm and not get wet. Tet again at 
five p. M. the rebs exercised themselves, not so vigorously as before, but for 
a longer time. When darkness came on we devoted all our energies to 
strengthening our position, nor did we sleep lest the Johnnies should make 
a sudden onslaught The distance between the two lines was subsequently 



ANNAPOLIS TO PETERSBURG. 185 

ascertained to be sixty measured yards. We had not been in position long 
when we discovered there was a rebel sharpshooter on our front who was an 
unerring shot^ killing nearly every man he fired at. Quite a number of the 
Fifty-eighth Massachusetts he shot through the heart. Sergt. W. H. Bar- 
stow had been standing behind a tree loading when he stepped one side to 
fire, uncovering himself unduly. Instantly Pinkie, as we had dubbed the 
reb, fired, and the sergeant fell. The men lying on the ground near him 
were going to rise and remove him from the field, but he raised his hand for 
them to remain where they were. The bullet had struck the waistbelt plate 
and glanced without inflicting material injury. Our boys then determined 
to fix Pinkie. He had always fired from a salient angle in the rebel works, 
so they commenced to watch that point carefully. Just as his head and 
rifie came in sight as he was preparing for another shot, a number of them 
fired simultaneously. There was no more sharpshooting from* that angle. 
The first lull in the lead and iron hailstorm was improved by collecting, 
cleaning, and loading all spare rifles within reach. One man secured eight, 
which he placed in condition for instant use and remarked, ''Let them come 
on, now, I'm as good as a gunboat." Captain Hunt was sunstruok in the 
early part of the day and was sent to Fredericksburg and Annapolis. Sergt. 
George W. Congdon was shot through the head at eleven o'clock. Hartford 
Alexander and Corp. Michael Flaharty were successively shot through the 
head when standing behind a tree, although they had been warned of the 
danger of the position. Robert Hanning was struck on the left breast by a 
Confederate bullet that passed through a photograph album filled with 
pictures, removing the head and shoulders of each, then through his vest and 
almost through his watch. It occasioned quite a shock, but nothing more. 
Ira W. Grant was shot through the thigh and removed from' the field. 
At the hospital the surgeon discovered he also suffered from a bullet through 
the chest just below the heart. He died from loss of bl.ood half an hour 
after the extent of his injuries had been ascertained. 

The r^mental loss for the day was as follows : 

Company A. — KiUed : Corps. Michael Flaharty and Oliyer Phillips* who died July 
20ih from injury to arm. Wounded : Sergt W. H. Barstow in stomach ; Priyates J. T. 
Hiscox, A. C. Kenyon. 

Company B. — Wounded : Sergt Alfred Fiske severely in hip ; Private Thomas 
Fleming. 

Company C. — Wotmded : Sergts. Benjamin F. MiUert in hip and Orlando Smith in 
shoulder ; Privates A. D. Carr in neck, John Killiant in wrist, J. S. C. Lawton in side. 

Company D. — KiUed: Sergt Oeorge W. Congdon. Wounded: Privates M. W. 
Carragan in ankle, Frank Denicoe Jr. in hand, A. H. Whipple in leg. 



186 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Company K —Killed : Priyates Hartford Alexander and Ira W. Grant Wounded : 
Sergt L. Porter severely in leg, Corp. W. A. Baker in knee ; Priyates Alonzo Dextert in 
both hips, Thomas W. Greenet in hip, Charles H. Perkins in arm, Stephen Rice (who waa 
barely more than a boy) severely in thigh. 

Company F. — Killed : Corp. John McDevitt* died July 8th ; Privates Palmer H. 
Perkins shot through the head, William Pats and Potter H. Straight* died June 16th. 
Wounded: Sergt Jonathan Linton in finger, Corp. John T. Wilcoxt ; Private Henry Rex. 

Company H. — Wounded : G. T. Browning in hand. 

Company I. — Killed : Private Alexander H. Manchester* severely in thigh, died 
June 16th at Washington. Wounded : Sergt Samuel McElroy ; Private Henry Winse- 
mann severely in both thighs. 

Company K. — Killed: Privates James Taylor* died July 6th, Oliver Wood* died 
June 15th. 

Total : — Killed, 12 ; Wounded, 30 ; out of 168. 

Saturday, 4th. At dawn we were amazed there were no indications of 
an enemy's presence. As day broke we cautiously and suspiciously com- 
menced investigating. The rebel line was found indeed vacant; like a thief 
in the night the Johnnies had stolen away. The sight within their works 
was sickening. Ninety-eight dead artillery horses were counted on our brig- 
ade front, and a little to the rear were twenty buried and unburied sol- 
diers, one of whom was a colonel. A wounded prisoner stated they moved 
their guns to the rear by hand for a considerable distance when preparing 
to leave, and also that they had been ordered, at three different times, to 
charge upon our line, but our fire was so heavy they could not be induced to 
rally. Another prisoner whose regiment faced our own, inquired wha;t 
regiment of sharpshooters it was that they had been engaged with, while 
the Forty-eighth Pennslyvania prevented a rebel battery from working the 
entire day, bringing instantly d,own any gunner that exposed himself. 
The trees between the lines were terribly marked just above the top of their 
rifle pits. A pine tree six measured inches in diameter had been cut oflF en- 
tirely by bullets, while in another a foot in diameter one hundred and eleven 
bullet holes were counted. The rebel position had been badly chosen for the 
ground behind them rose effectually preventing, as themselves declared, 
the slightest n^ovement. A hundred yards to the rear of their works a log 
house was discovered occupied by a lone woman. During the battle she had 
taken refuge in the cellar while Yankee projectiles pierced the building 
through and through above ground. In the cellar was discovered by an 
exploring party, a good stock of sweet p^otatoes, and, as they had subsisted 
the previous twenty-four hours on coflfee alone, they at once filled their 
haversacks and commenced tossing the balance through an opening t.o their 
comrades outside. Thereupon, the mistress of the establishment retired to 



AKHAPOLIS TO PSTEB8BUR6. 187 

the rooms above, braced herself across the doorway and screamed for assist- 
ance. The louder she yelled the faster flew the potatoes. The Pennsylva- 
nia boys, being practical miners, distinguished themselves by nnearthing 
a buried box of specie. There was so much money the finders could not 
carry it away. Some of it was disposed of at a premium of one hundred 
per cent, for souvenirs. About noon we moved some three miles to the left 
of the entire line and rested in the rear of the Second Brigade, which re- 
lieved some of the Second Corps from the care of their rifle pits. The after- 
noon was damp and rainy. Parenthetically it may be remarked that the 
entire history of events from Spottsylvania to Petersburg may be thus sum- 
med up : It was simply dig and shoot as the men lay in squads, the wounded 
remaining where struck, the dead swelling up in the hot sun in their places 
amid the survivors. 

Sunday, 5th. At ten a. m. the picket on our left commenced firing, 
but soon was driven in. Then our line of battle for a time was engaged. 
At 1.30 p. M. we again formed line at right angles to the Second Brigade's 
pits and constructed a satisfactory defense. Captain Stone joined us last 
night from Camp Burnside, Lieutenant Webb from home, and Captains 
Potter and Wilbur from the wagon train; but the former still complains 
of dizziness, and the latter is hardly in condition to brave the exposure of 
active campaigning. 

Monday, 6th. Captain Stone advanced our picket quite a distance this 
morning, but the enemy rallied and forced him back. About nine o'clock 
the regiment went out to support him, receiving a mail while lying under 
the shelter of a hill. About three the enemy commenced shelling our train, 
tossing over fifty, more or less. This alarmed and drove in our working 
party. Then they crowded back the picket on our right so that it soon had 
an enfilading fire on both fianks. Of course our men fell back to the pits 
promptly and not in the best of order, for none can stand such a cross fire. 
No attack was made, however. Later our picket advanced to the brow of 
the hill, but had to retire a short distance, for those on either side would 
not or could Aot line up. It was at this time when it was very necessary 
to keep a sharp lookout for the enemy, that James Hodson asked permission 
to go out in front to a tree and serve as vidette. Captain Stone advised 
him not to go, but did not forbid. He accordingly went forth very cau- 
tiously, but before reaching the tree, fell. He shouted to his anxious com- 
rades that he was hit. They told him to crawl back to the line which he 
finally succeeded in reaching, but well-nigh exhausted from loss of blood. 
He bled internally and lived but an hour. 



188 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Allen Pierce, of Company I, had become sick and discouraged. He 
daim^ed to have a presentiment of impending misfortune and dreaded the 
return of day. Captain Jenks took pity on him and directed him to aaaist 
the cook as best he could. This m.orning he was told to go into the woods 
and gather sticks to boil coffee for the men at the front. Pierce climbed up 
the bank and commenced gathering fuel as requested. While thus engaged 
a cannon ball came crashing along and struck his leg shattering it. Ab 
he did not return comrades went in search of him, and, on finding, carried 
him to the field hospital, where amputation was performed. Gangrene 
supervened which rendered reamputation necessary. Even then he was 
pleased to think he was away from the front and would soon be home. 
Poor fellow! He went to his long home June 20th. It was about this 
time when the ranks were s^o reduced there seemed to be no Seventh Regi- 
ment, that on one occasion when Company H was invited to step forward 
and receive rations, George W. Covill stepped forward saying, "Here is Com- 
pany H !" His few remaining comrades were on duty, where there was no 
chance for immediate relief. 

Tuesday, 7th. At 3.30 p. m. the rebs renewed their shelling and well 
they did their work for an entire hour, but most of the projectiles passed 
over us damaging little but tree-tops. Then they advanced their pickets 
in force driving in those on our flanks, but our own men maintained their 
position. Of course a heavy attack was expected, but none came. 

Wednesday, 8th. The day was cloudy but not rainy, so the pickets 
had a comfortable time. Their position was so advanced their chances of 
escape were very slight had any attack been made. William H. Oorbin 
was wounded and also Sergt. J. P. Bezely, the latter in the head. By this 
mischance Sergeant Follensbee came into the temporary command of his 
company no commissioned ofiScer being present, and every non-commis- 
sioned officer other than himself having been killed or wounded. 

Thursday, 9th. Very quiet along the line except on our front where 
picket firing was maintained with considerable vigor. Our rifle pit duly 
protected with abattis is on one side of a flat ten rods wide; on the other are 
pine woods, in the edge of which are our pickets, two hundred and fifty 
yards from the rebel line. Behind us the ground, covered with pines, slopes 
to a swampy brook. The men have dug into the bank and thrown the dirt 
in front of well-braced logs as a protection from shot and shell. They are 
spending their time lounging around and reading what few papers a light 
mail has brought. Captain Channell returned to us last night. 

Friday, 10th. Equipments including cartridge boxes containing forty 



\ 



ANNAPOLIS TO PETERSBURG. 189 

rounds are worn continually, for none can know when an attack may be 
received, yet the men are resting. Only one man wonnded to-day. 

Saturday, 11th. Still more rest, though in the face of the enemy, and 
ready to repel any onslaught of the rebels at an instant's notice. There 
is considerable shelling and picket-firing, but the results are entirely dis- 
proportionate to the din created. At two p. m. the boys planted our colors, 
which elicited a special shower of hostile shells. Herbert Daniels pur- 
chased for the ofScers at White House Landing a number of cans of fruit, 
while Acting Quartermaster Bates presented them with about a hundred 
lemons, some extract of ginger, and two bottles of French brandy. All 
these were great luxuries, and, though quite expensive, were really more 
than reasonably could have been looked for, because Qrant had ordered all 
sutlers away at the opening of the campaign. 

Sunday, 12th. Just at dark our pickets were relieved by the Forty- 
eighth Pennsylvania and we started across swamp and field in an easterly 
direction toward White House Landing. Though the moonlight cheered 
U18 the march was unsteady and severe because of the wagon train. An 
hour or two after midnight we became separated from our brigade, but 
maintained the same general course, and, at daylight, found ourselves at 
Tunstall's Station, having accomplished thirteen miles and changed our 
resting-place from a wide waste of drifting sand to a bright green valley, 
between whose shaded hills flowed a tiny stream. 

Monday, 13th. Here we rested until the brigade came up, which was 
about noon. The march was now resumed in a southeasterly direction 
through a thickly settled, but yet wooded country, following generally the 
course of ridges and low hills, but, anon, descending in^o swamps. Passing 
at four p. M. Stone's Church, at five p. m. we were halted for an hour's rest, 
but not until eleven p. m. was our onward movement resumed. An hour 
later we were ordered to stack arms and informed we could build fires and 
make ourselves as comfortable as possible, but that at five a. m. we should 
be again on the road. We simply dropped where we stood, and in a few 
moments were sound asleep. 

Tuesday, 14th. Through the accidental discharge of a musket from the 
falling of a stack John McDonought was shot in the back, the bullet .pass- 
ing out on his right side. Immediately all caps were removed from stacked 
guns. Once more on the road we passed a little settlement called Provi- 
dence, Ford's (flour) Mill, recently ransacked by our troops, and a rivulet 
that empties into the Chickahominy. This river was crossed at ten a. m. 
Dear Jones Bridge. At this time it consisted of two narrow insignificant 
streams. Its banks were lined with deep swamps thickly covered with 



190 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

underbrush and emitting a miasm more disagreeable if possible than that 
of the Yazoo. At 10.30 rations of fresh beef and coffee were issued. At 
noon we halted in sight of Sherwood Forest, the former residence of Ex- 
President Tyler. The mansion though quite pretentious, was considerably 
dilapidated. In the library whose shelves were filled with rusty volumes 
on general and state law was a pile of letters and papers of every descrip- 
tion, conspicuous among which were several packages labeled "Peace 
Convention." On opening one of these it was found to consist in great part 
of telegrams from Charleston, S. C, and elsewhere, which proved that 
while sitting as President of that Convention he was exerting every en- 
deavor to promote secession. In another was the original articles of agree- 
ment between the State of Virginia and the provisional government of the 
Confederate States. This was no more than was to be expected of a man 
who violated the oath of office as chief executive of his nation, and who 
deliberately betrayed those who had placed "His Accidency" in the second 
position in the land. At one o'clock Captain Channell assumed command 
of the regiment, Captain Daniels returning to his company, and the march 
was resumed. At 4.30 halted for coffee and refreshments. At 7.30 we 
moved on once more, reaching about nine a farm said to be the birthplace 
of the rebel General Ewell, three miles from the James River and not far 
from Charles City Court House. Miles made, seventeen. 

Wednesday, 15th. Orders were received this morning to be ready to 
form line at an instant's notica As no such order came, the men put up 
their shelters and took as much comfort in their shade as was possible. 
Dinner consisted solely of beef and tea. After dark five days' rations of 
bread, coffee, and sugar were issued, column was formed and the march for 
James River commenced. The Seventh was at the head of its brigade, and 
the brigade constituted the advance, so the Seventh Rhode Island led the 
Ninth Corps over the James. Before reaching the river there is a long 
stretch of swamp, which, at this time of year is covered with thick tall 
grass. Just as we sighted the stream the brigade band surprised us with 
"Aint we glad to get out of the wilderness." 

The bridge on which we crossed is composed of 101 boats. As their 
intervals from centre to centre are twenty-five feet, its entire length must 
be upwards of 800 yards. While passing over, the glare of campfires, the 
tolling of steamers' bells, the shrieks of their whistles and the grim dusky 
warships fully outlined in the moonlight alike contributed to the impressive 
weirdness of the scene. Once over, we were allowed to rest until eleven 
o'clock, when the entire corps started southwesterly at a rapid pace. 
Though brief rest was permitted every hour, all became weary as daylight 



ANNAPOLIS TO PBTERSBURG. 191 

approached, and many of the men fell out before morning. Meanwhile 
artillery firing wa« heard in the distance. Miles made, twenty-five, nearly. 

Thursday, 16th. Morning found the Seventh straggling along the 
road tired and footsore. At quite an early hour halted for coffee and rest. 
Not until ten a. m. did we resume our tramp, which continued until we 
reached the left of the Second Corps in the latter part of the afternoon.^ 
When Colonel Curtin ascertained our whereabouts he called for a detail to 
assist in fortifying, which was duly sent from the nineteen non-commis- 
sioned oflScers and forty-five privates which constituted the entire rank 
and file of the regiment present and fit for duty. The location was in an 
open field in front of a rebel earthwork protected by ^'slashing." At six 
o'clock the Second Corps charged these works without success. Later we 
moved to the right through brush, over stumps and logs and along rifle 
pits to the front. Thus passed almost the entire night About daylight 
the brigade charged and captured some 450 prisoners. Owing to some 
misunderstanding on the part of our commander we did not participate. 
To-day's loss has been four wounded: Corp. Joseph Atistin, of Company 
H, in the hand; Privates J. W. Gavitt, of K, likewise in hand, Lewis S. 
Bliss severely, and Elisha C. Knight slightly in three places, both of I, also 
W. H. Corbin, of H. 



1 WhUe lying lien on the exterior slope of an oatwoik preTtenaly eTBOuated by the enemy, Sergeant 
Spragne reoeiyed a sharp thnmp on his left breast from a bollet that first straok the ground some twenty 
<eet away. It erldently came frem a house occapled by sharpshooters on oar left front. Sergeant Johnson 
ftsked if he was wounded and then if he oonld get to the rear without help. Sprague replied that he 
would try. On emerging from oorer he was greeted with a ToUey from the rebs, but escaped harm. After 
resting and investigating he discovered his injury was less serious than he had feared, the bullet baring 
lodged in a thick, hard plug of tobaooo, and accordingly returned to his company. Just before night, 
bQwever, he began to sulTer so much soreness and lameness that he was sent to the rear, where he remained 
fbr treatment three days. 



CHAPTER IX. 

Around Petersburg to Port Hell. 

JUNB 17 — NOVBMBBB 29, 1864. 

FRIDAY, 17th. Quite early this mioriiiDg we moved forward and occu- 
pied some works vacated by the enemy. As they were in an open 
field we at once proceeded to do some shoveling to adapt them to 
their changed use. We speedily found the labor paid, for ten shells struck 
the parapet, leaving enormous holes, and bounding to the rear exploded 
and covered us with dirt. After breakfast (the cook having come up from 
the teams) we moved to Confederate earthwork, No. 15, which we worked 
upon until it afforded ample protection. The Tenth Massachusetts Battery 
was near by, engaging a couple of rebel batteries across the plain. We could 
plainly see them 'dismount one gun and repeatedly drive the cannoneers 
from their posts, but they pluckily returned whenever the Yankee fire 
slackened. Four privates were wounded : Eben Hollis, of Company F, in 
the side; D. R. Billington, of G, severely in the side; Patrick Conway, of 
H, in the head, and E. H. Sherman, of I, in the breast. 

Saturday, 18th. Thick and smoky this morning. The artillery opened 
on the enemy's works, but elicited no reply. Hence it was concluded (six 
A. M.) the rebs had gone, or were hiding. At eight a. m. it became known 
they were retiring to another line of works in the rear, where they estab- 
lished themselves despite a vigorous shelling. We advanced correspond- 
ingly and spent the night entrenching. The positions thus assumed were 
the main lines, defensive and offensive, during the entire si^e. 

When Capt. E. T. Allen had returned from a two hours' tour duty 
on the picket line, and had taken out his revolver to ascertain if it was 
in perfect condition, one chamber was accidently discharged, its bullet 
perforating the calf of his leg. He was at once borne to the regimental hos- 
pital, where his wound was dressed by Dr. Cory, and thence was carried to 
the division hospital. One of the men who bore him to the rear, James G. 
Eenyon, of Company A, was shot dead immediately upon his return. James 
J. Taylor, of Company H, was wounded. 



n 




ABOUin) PETERSBURG TO FORT HELL. 193 

Sunday, 19th. At five a. m. active hostilities characterised onr neigh- 
borhood. At eight A. M. we were withdrawn from the works and stationed 
in the cool shade of some woods on the right behind some batteries. Here 
we rested during the day though stray rifle bullets occasionally dropped 
around killing and wounding some even while sleeping. W. H. Ck>bbin, of 
Company K, was thus wounded in the head. Moderate firing was indulged 
in all along the line. In the evening just as we were preparing to retire 
i^e were directed to fall in, and were conducted to the extreme front, where 
another night was spent in digging rifle pits, this time in a swamp. Bome- 
where about midnight as Captain Jenks was conversing with Bergt W. H. 
Johnson, superintending, meanwhile, the construction of some rifle pits in 
a ravine across (westerly) the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad, the former 
was struck on the shoulder blade by a rebel bullet, but as it was a glancing 
shot the wound was comparatively slight. 

Monday, 20th. At daybreak we returned to our grove and to rest 

Tuesday, 21st. The regiment rested during the evening, but toward 
midnight was ordered to the picket line for twenty-four hours. Richard 
Carpenter, Company B, was wounded in the leg, and James Howard, Jr.,t 
Company I, in the arm, which subsequently was amputated. 

Wednesday, 22d. G. B. Sunderland, of Company D, was wounded in 
head and shoulders, E. C. Knight in hand, and W. H. Northup severely in 
wrist, both of Company I. 

Thursday, 23d. Relieved from picket this morning, but spent the day 
in the front line of works. 

Friday, 24th. We are on duty every night and rest as best we can by 
day. 

Saturday, 25th, Picket firing lively. Day warm. 

Sunday, 26th. Very close, hot day. Wounded: A. E. Bullock, Com- 
pany D, severely in side; John Moore, Company E, in knee; C. H. Collins, 
severely in thigh, and Henry A. Harkne6s,t severely in abdomien, both of 
Company E. 

Monday, 27th. Picket service again. Company B musters two ser- 
geants, two corporals, and eight privates. Wounded : Corp. W. R. Northup, 
Company Q ; Private Joseph Smith, Company K. 

Tuesday, 28th. A day of rest in camp at the rear, though the artillery 
are slowly but savagely shelling. 

Wednesday, 29th. Being up every night on picket duty at the front is 
becoming monotonous, decidedly so. The recent introduction of mortars 
furnishes the only objects of interest at present. When their shells explode 
midair, the noise is as of thunder, and we seem compelled to watch them 

13 



194 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

whether we wish to or not. Wounded: Sergt. Benjamin A. Reach, t Ck>m- 
pany C, in hip; Corp. M. H. Aldrich, Company C, in leg; Private G. E. 
Baacke, Company G, in finger; Sergt. John McKay, Jr., Company H; Pri- 
vate H. A. Roberts, Company E, in arm. 

Thursday, 30th. The entire brigade, save the men on fatigue duty 
and the invalids, are on picket, which is to-day practically a skirmish 
line. John Kilroy, of Company I, who had been left in camp was killed by 
a glancing bullet that pierced his head. Thou^ the regiment is located 
a little to the rear of the breastworks, we are continually annoyed by stray 
shots, both day and night. 

July, 1864. 

Friday, 1st. About one a. m. we returned from the picket line to our 
camp ground and laid down to sleep behind the breastworks, having no 
tents except the shelter. Sergt. J. H. D. Bprague, of Company D, was lying 
on his left side fast asleep, about thirty feet from the parapet, when a stray 
bullet struck his right foot, tearing the sole of the shoe from the upper and 
cutting a piece of skin about the size of a dollar from the side of his foot 
Some time in the morning, J. H. Eddy, of Company C, was struck in the 
knee, being thereby lamed for life, and J. G. Whipple, of Company B, was 
severely wounded in the wrist. So long as we remained in this location 
such incidents were of common occurrence. Occasionally the rebel artillery 
projectiles fell short and bounded over our camp. Then sometimes they 
knocked over a tent or two, generally wounding some one, but once three 
tents were razed without injury to any one though all were occupied at the 
time. Most of their shots passed through the tree-tops, casting showers of 
splinters and foliage, exploding finally on the plain behind us, throwing np 
a cloud of dust and debris. 

The occupancy of a continuous line would place some troops in hollows 
where they would be at the mercy of the enemy's fire, consequently such 
portions were generally left unoccupied, the defenders being massed on the 
bordering ridges. 

The appearance of the ground which we have won is curious to those 
unaccustomed to field fortifications. On June 17th our forces charged 
across a wide field beyond which was a ravine. Beyond this was another 
field and a larger ravine through which flows Taylor's Cre^, and in which, 
also, is the roadbed of the Norfolk Railroad. The first field waB but slightly 
furrowed by the pits of the contending armies, but the second resembles an 
ocean of sand tossed in short waves. There are parallel ridges extending 



ABOUND PETERSBURG TO FORT HELL. 195 

from end to end, only a few rods apart, between which are smaller exoava- 
tiouB of various sizes and shapes, dng ont as screens to skirmishers. The 
Yanks wonld churge opon a line of the rebel works and drive ont its ocon- 
pants, who wonld retire only a short distance to bnild others, while we 
made secnre what we had gained. Thns line after line was formed by the 
combatants, the one as determined in attack as the other was in resistance. 

Saturday, 2d. Capt. Theodore Winn, of €k)mpany B, is honorably dis- 
charged. The regiment is detached from its brigade and assigned to dnty as 
engineers of the division. Dnring most of this month we worked on the 
fortifications, made gabions, dng trenches, and repaired roads. 

Snnday, 3d. Onr forces are digging a tnnnel nnder a rebel fort and 
are making good progress. A camp rnmor says an attempt is to be made 
to-morrow morning to spring the mine and to assault the rebel works at the 
same time. The Fonrth Bhode Island arrived at ten a. h.^ and was assigned 
to onr brigade. It is encamped near General Bnmside's headquarters, and 
makes a fine appearance. 

Monday, 4th. Bnt few shots were exchanged dnring the entire day. 
The stillness of suburban groves broods over the Union Gamps, while gentle 
breezes softly murmur through the tree-tops. Pardon T. Wright, of Gom- 
pany A^ was wounded in the head by a sharpshooter's bullet as he, with 
others, was enlarging a shallow covered way, and Beuben Holland, Jr., of 
Company G, was wounded in the elbow. 

The diary of Eugene H. Levy, a private in the Donaldsonville Artillery 
(Confederate), contains the following: ^^The glorious Fourth was ushered 
in quietly, contrary to expectations. Four deserters had prepared our 
army for a shotted salute at dawn. As the sun rose the Yankee bands 
from left to right of their long line of earthworks took up the old familiar 
'Star Spangled Banner,' and passed the inspiring air along for miles. The 
old flag floated from a thousand flagstaffs and the combination produced 
a curious state of feeling among us who had been patriotically reared. As 
the distance between the opposing lines in our front was but 600 yards, and 
a truce existed between the pickets of both armies, many of us met the 
%lue coats' at the half-way mark and swapped rations as well as lies. A 
Yankee gave me three pounds of ground coffee for a plug of tobacco; to 
my disgust I found on testing the stuff that it was coffee grounds that had 
been dried in the sun after having been used. I prayed for the Yankee 
nation all that night with a vengeance. The day was bright and lovely; 
the parapets of the earthworks were crowded with soldiers until picket 
firing commenced at dark. Our brass bands came to the front for the oo- 



196 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

caaion and brayed ont ^Dixie' and 'Bonnie Blue Flag' at lnto*yals through 
the day." 

Tuesday, 6th. No rain has fallen since June 2d. This renders the 
heat the more oppressive and the more injurious to man and beast. Sup- 
plies are brought from City Point in enormous trains of white canvas 
topped wagons each drawn by six mules. As they pass the dust fills the 
air in clouds, filling everything, covering everything. It is just horrible. 
Then the flies swarm as in ancient Egypt, so that between the two, though 
we work ail night in the pits we find it impossible to sleep by day. Capt 
Percy Daniels, of Company E, was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the 
regiment, June 29th. 

Wednesday, 6th. The flies are increasing in numbers and ferocity. 
The slow and weary process of a siege furnishes little of marked interest 
whereby one day may be distinguished from another, save that sometimeB 
the artillery fire seems a little fiercer and the pickets a little more spiteful 
in the exchange of shots. 

Thursday, 7th. Sergt. J. H. D. Sprague was slightly wounded the 
second time within a week. A number of the men were sitting in a group 
when one of the stray, well-nigh spent bullets came along and struck him 
squarely in the back, but bounded off and hit George B. Clemience, of Com- 
pany p. Fourth Rhode Island, who chanced to be visiting the camp. Being 
as yet unaccustomed to such experiences, Clemence lost no time in placing 
himself behind a sheltering tree trunk. 

Friday, 8th. Quite an artillery duel started by the rebels. They skil- 
fully dumped their shells into our camp, but as we were out digging covered 
ways, Charles P. Nye, of Company K, alone was wounded and in the thigh. 

Saturday, 9th. Very quiet along the lines this morning, but later the 
enemy's skirmishers made a vigorous assault, which was repulsed without 
difficulty. 

Sunday, 10th. The entire regiment is conducted to some woods in 
our rear and there taught how to construct gabions. These are made of 
green twigs so interwoven as to form wicker cylinders, and when filled with 
earth constitute the chief support of the sides of heavy field fortifications. 

Monday, 11th. Just outside our campground is a good spring of watw, 
but when visiting it men are exposed to a fire both of artillery and mus- 
kelr.^. One day Orlando Smith found himself the special target of a rebel 
rifieman, one bullet grounding at his feet. He instantly concluded it wise 
to "double quick" the balance of the distance. 

Tuesday, 12th. The chief excitement to-day is Early's raid on Wash- 




CORP. NATHAN B. LEWIS. 



ABOUND PETBBSBURG TO FORT HELL. 197 

ington. There is much curiosity aa to how he wqb able with so small a 
force to advance so near to Washington without material opposition. 

Wednesday, 13th. The men in front of Petersburg almost foi^et where 
they are and what they are here for, but none consider the situation alarm- 
ing, the rather calculating on the capture of Early and his entire command. 
The day is very hot. 

Thursday, 14th. The army has settled down to unexpected quietude. 
We still take to the woods to make gabions. Each man is expected to 
weave one a day. The day's product is brought to camp in wagons. 

Friday, 15th. There is a general understanding that our artillery shall 
open on any hostile working party or moving troops. When this occurs 
which is not infrequently, the rebels promptly resent the attention and file 
a heavy protest with a yell. Toward evening it was reported that the rebs 
were preparing to make a night attack, so we remained by our arms during 
the darkness, but received no callers. 

Saturday, 16th. Vigorous cannonading all along the line last night. 
Some were killed and others wounded in adjacent camps. Corp. Nathan B. 
Lewis, of Company F, is placed in charge of two teams laden with three 
hundred spades, one hundred and twenty-five axes, and seventy-five picks. 
They are to be kept with the regiment and a wall of pine logs is built to 
protect the horses from stray bullets. John H. Taylor, of CompanyF, had 
charge of one, which subsequently was sent to corps headquarters, while 
George H. Holland, of Company G, drove the other. This remained with 
the regiment until late in the winter, certainly until well past December 
10th. 

Sunday, 17th. The mK)st quiet day yet seen here. 

Monday, 18th. There was a still alarm last night. All hands were 
summoned to the front, but nothing serious occurred. An attack is ex- 
pected at any time to test our position. 

Tuesday, 19th. A little shower, the first in nearly two months. Vigor- 
ous cannonading during the night. 

Wednesday, 20th. Heavy rain last night, cloudy this morning. 

Thursday, 21st. Another nocturnal bombardment. The men are dis- 
gusted at these frequent scares as they term these night alarms. 

Friday, 22d. Very smokj, but the cause is unknown. 

Sunday, 24th. The men are suspicious of a quiet day like this. 

lionday, 25th. Last night was cold and rainy ; the boys are cold and 
wet having no protection but their shelters spread beneath the trees. Close 
quarters are necessary to afford comfort in such a storm as this. Picket 



198 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INt-ANTRT. 

firing very brisk during the night. Six heavy siege gnns^ thirty-two 
pounders, camje up to-day and probably will be mounted to-night. 

Tuesday, 26th. It is rumored our tunnel is being loaded with powder. 

Wednesday, 27th. There are indications of a movement. Certain 
troops seem to be waiting final orders. There is heavy firing on the right. 
It is a fact they are placing powder in the mine. 

Thursday, 28th. An engagement is in progress on our right. Informa- 
tion concerning it is unobtainable. It is cloudy and slightly rainy. 

Friday, 29th. There was a fire in Petersburg last night supposed to 
be claused by one of our shells. Have never ascertained particulars. We 
have been ordered to clean up our entire equipment and have ev^ything in 
good order. It is reported to-night that the rebel fort is to be blown up 
early to-morrow morning and that a heavy assault will be made. 

Saturday, 30th. The following order was received by our regimental 
commander late yesterday afternoon : 

Hd. Qb8. 2irD Drv., 0th A. 0., 

July 29th, 1864. 
Lt. Coi.. Pbbot Dahisls, Ccmdg. 7th B. L VoU. (EngineerB). 

Coil. : Tour Begiment with all entrenching tools will move in the rear of the Diyision 
when it forms for attack to-morrow morning. Yon will move in ease Colonel Bliss* 
Brigade is withdrawn from the front line at such time as the command moves to take posi- 
tion. Should the 1st Brigade be retained in the trenches until the hour of attack you will 
regulate yonr movements by those of the 2d Brigade, f oUowing that command when it 
moves out In either case you will foUow the entire Division when it attacks. You will 
furnish tools to the pioneer Corps of both Brigades on application. 

By command of Brig. OenL Pottsb. 

Saml. Wbisht, a. a. G. 

As immediately subsequent to the explosion of the mine at 4.44 a. m. 
General Ledlie, commander of the foremost division of the assaulting 
column sought the shelter of a bombproof instead of superintending 
as directed a dash of his men upon the comparatively defenceless 
Cemetery Hill, the key to the entire situation and but a few rods be- 
yond the crater, it is not strange they halted therein awaiting a leader. 
Blocking thus the gateway to the proposed battlefield, it was simply impos- 
sible for our division (Potter's) and for Wilcox's also to pass through, and, 
wheeling to the right and left respectively, sweep the rebel line of works 
of their paralyzed occupants or in any manner fully to execute either 
original plans or subsequent orders. Consequently at 6.30 a. m., one and 
three-quarters hours after the fateful moment our regiment was still stand- 



ABOUND PETEB8BUR6 TO FORT HELL. 199 

ing at its assigned rendesvoas in the depression around the entrance to the 
mine waiting for the left of our division to pass. Colonel Bell's brigade, of 
Oeneral Tamer's division, of the Tenth Ck)rps, then tempcnrarily onder the 
orders of Oeneral Ord, commander of the Eighteenth Corps, followed so 
closely on the heels of onr comrades that we found onrselves absolutely 
sidetracked. Colonel Daniels, therefore, directed Major Jenks to care f<^ 
us until his return, and, for the purpose of ascertaining whare the regi- 
ment's special service was required, accompanied Colonel Bell's troops on 
their charge upon the hostile works about 7.30 a. m. 1%ey cleared the rebels 
from their pits driving them to the front of their next battery to the right, 
and then one of the colonels turned to Colonel Daniels who chanced to be 
at his side and asked where he should go next Colonel Daniels replied 
that he had no authority outside his own regiment, but would see if he 
could get an order to take that battery (distant some five hundred rods 
from the crater). Colonel Daniels then returned to our line of works, and, 
instead of reporting the situation to proper authcnrity, aftar passing a little 
toward the right, turned throu^ some brush until he reached the ditch 
protecting the battery. Having satisfied his curiosity he was on the point 
of turning back when the head of a rebel column that had retaken a portion 
of their line this side the crater, appeared at either angle of the fort The 
colonel naturally jumped for the brush just as a Johnny shouted : '^Come 
in, here, Billy !" Without stopping he replied that he could not see it, and 
^^e they were ready to fire he had reached our line of advanced pickets 
(some thirty or forty yards to the rear in the woods), who were just awak- 
ing to the situation. The two men at the post where he struck our line 
were shot as they turned to come in with him, and at the same instant he 
felt something sting his hip. When he reached our main line at the foot of 
the hill he found that a bullet had passed between his pants and both shirts 
without breaking the skin. Dissatisfied and somewhat discouraged by his 
observations, he then made his way back to his command. A little later 
a second advance of the Johnnies drove our men from every part of their 
works but the crater. They stood not overmuch on the order of their return, 
nor were they disposed to stop on reaching our lines. A panic seemed 
imminent, and apparently the rebs were preparing to follow up their suc- 
cess, so Colonel Daniels called the regiment to attention, caused all en- 
trenching tools to be cast aside, and then moved us up to the most critical 
point, a cool, solid, but short line of fresh men with sixty rounds. We at 
once opened a deliberate fire which was taken up by those on our right and 
left, a circumstance not without influence undoubtedly in determining the 
foe to remain where best acquainted. We remained that night on duty in 



200 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

front of the crater, with the Thirty-sixth MassachuflettB on our right, hav- 
ing regained each his pick, shovel, and axe. Sergt. Franklin Oonsolve, of 
Company B, was wonnded in the leg; Oorp. D. B. Eeaton, of Company O, 
in shonlder, and Private P. J. Wells in leg. 

But what about the explosion itself? A lighted matcli, a hissing fuse, 
and the breaking loose of a force terrible and irresistible. A young volcano 
burst its bonds. Earth's crust was rent by the upward bolt. Fire flashed 
between the broken clods of earth that flew toward heaven full two hundred 
feet, leaving a chasm a hundred and seventy feet long, a hundred feet 
wide and twenty-five feet deep. Men, guns, supplies, everything within 
reach of the blast moved skyward. Two cannon, each weighing a ton, went 
whirling over the parapet that had been, and dropped between the picket 
lines. ^ Lairy Chandler, who was sleeping beneath one of them, was hurled 
so high and so far he fell within the Union lines. Another Johnny subse- 
quently captured, said the first he knew he was blown up a right smart 
distance, and when he was coming down he met others going up, too. 
Around the crater in every direction were mangled bodies hurled there by 
the sulphurous blast. Beneath its floor, deep hid in the bowels of the earth 
by returning showers of dirt were forever concealed the remains of not 
a few of the 256 officers and men killed by the explosion. Answering to 
the quake that shook every spire of Petersburg and was felt as far away 
as Bichmond, came the roll and roar of Grant's artillery. The wounded 
crawled to every possible shelter from the infernal storm of missiles. A 
pall of smoke and dust covered as with a kindly veil, the central horror, 
yet in each redan and each redoubt men staggered and shrunk back from 
the sudden and awful scene. The line had been broken, and thereinto a 
wedge might have been driven that would have ended the war in a week. 
The mine itself was a wonder. It did its work with the swiftness 
of the electric spark that dasheis from cloud to cloud across the face 
of the sky. But the opportunity was unimproved. The pathway to victory 
became the slaughter-pen of defeat; and 142 Unionists white and black, 
were buried therein, covered simply by loose dirt from the rent walls of 
the chasm. Alike faithful unto death their ashes are intermingled, but 
significantly forevermore the blue rests above the gray. 

Where now was our colonel during all this din and turmoil. As com- 
mander of the second brigade of our division he had been notified that his 
troops would be relieved from the trenches about nine p. m. by a brigade 
from another corps, and that then they should return to their camps. 



^ Theee the rebels Babeeqaentty regained by undermining and sliding into tiieir ditohes. 



AROUND PETERSBURG TO FORT HELL. 201 

supply themselves with rations, water and ammnnition, and be ready to 
join in the attack at three a. m. Not until two a. m. did the expected support 
arrive, so barely time was left for the men to replenish their haversacks, 
canteens, and cartridge boxes, and form line as reserve, some six or eight 
hundred yards from the front in readiness for the assault. But the explo- 
sion was delayed. After waiting awhile, having rested not during the entire 
night, the colonel entered a tent and stretched himself on a bunk built on 
crotches stuck in the ground. That very instant they began to sway. He 
knew its meaning and ran out just in time to see an immense column of 
earth rising into the air. When it had nearly reached its highest point the 
sun's rays fell upon it, imparting magnificent coloring. ^The mine made a 
large crater and knocked down the earthworks to some extent on each side 
but did not do as much damage as it was expected to." (Z. B. B.) When 
the fij*ing became general, he was ordered to move to the front through a 
covered way, and eventually to place his command between Oen. Bimon 
S. Griffin's brigade and our works as soon as the lattar should have con- 
nected with Ledlie's right. Meeting Oen^al Oriffln as soon as he reached 
the front he asked him if he could put in any regiments where they would 
do good. The general replied he was going forward to see if there was 
room for more troops, and soon word was sent back there was space for 
three more regiments beside his own. These were sent, one being the 
Fourth Bhode Island, and were assigned position in a covered way, in 
rear of the rebel works, and facing to our right. To the right of the crater 
was a battery of twelve-pounder guns that was inflicting great damage, so 
the colonel ordered his men to charge down the rebel line, intending to, 
and perhaps intimating he should when he saw their colors move, charge 
across with the other four regiments and capture the battery referred to. 
Not until the command had been sent the third time did the colors of the 
three regiments start. When the colonel saw them raised he directed the 
Fifty-first New York and another regiment held in perfect readiness to 
charge. They rushed gallantly forward and took the rebel works, but 
could not seize the guns on account of the heavy fire from troop% in the rear. 
However, '^they drove the men from the guns and no more shots were fired 
from that battery during the fight." (Z. B. B.) But the others instead of ad- 
vancing as directed, went straight toward Cemetery Hill whence they were 
soon repulsed, retreating to the covered way. Had they gone as he directed, 
the rebels would have been easily swept from their works and the battery 
have been destroyed if it could not have been turned against the enemy. 
The trouble was General Griffin had not been informed of the colonel's pur- 
pose, so he countermanded the first two orders and changed the direction 



202 SEYBNTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

for the third. However, '^the brigade held that part of the line till it was 
withdrawn in the afternoon by order of General Bnmside." (Z. B. B.) 

Sunday, Slst. A pleasant morning; surprisingly quiet aft^ such a 
clash of armiB. Permission was asked to bury the dead and remove the 
wounded from between the lines, but refused on the ground no one was 
present authorized to grant it. In our several camps the men gathered in 
little groups where shade could be found and discussed angrily and 
discontentedly the responsibility of yesterday's disaster. As it will ever 
figure prominently in military history let us also, though thirty-eight yearn 
have passed, endeavor to ascertain what occurred, the circumstances that 
controlled events and the degree of responsibility therefor ref^able to 
various officers of divers rank exercising executive authority in the 
premises. The sworn statements of these gentlemen are sufficiently clear 
and should be regarded as conclusive. Since a considerable portion of their 
evidence was given in response to interrogatories it has been found neces- 
sary to incorporate portions of the questions into their narratives. Such 
matter is indicated by enclosures in parentheses. 

Lieut-Col. Henry Pleasants, lieutenant-colonel of the Forty-eighth 
Pennslyvania Volunteers commanding the First Brigade, Second Division, 
Ninth Corps, testifies: "While commanding the brigade I frequently had 
occasion to go to the front line. I noticed a little cup of a ravine near to 
the enemy's works. Having been a mining and civil engineer many years 
before the war, it occurred to me a mdne might be excavated ihete. After 
I satisfied myself it could be done, I spoke to the officer next above me, 
Brigadier-Qeneral Potter, commanding the division, and explained to him 
what I proposed to do, how I proposed to do it, and what would be the effect 
of an explosion of that kind upon the enemy. He received the idea favor- 
ably, and wrote a note to General Bumside in relation to it. Oeneral 
Bumside sent for me and I explained to him carefully the mode of venti- 
lating the mine and everything about it. He seemed very much pleased 
with the proposition and told me to go right on with the work. The work 
was commenced at twelve o'clock noon on the 25th of June, 1864. My 
regiment was about four hundred strong. At first I employed but a few 
men at a time, but the number was increased as the work progressed until 
at last I had to use the whole r^ment, non-commissioned officers and all. 
I found it impossible to get assistance from anybody. I had to remove all 
the earth in old cracker boxes. I got pieces of hickory and nailed on the 
boxes in which we received our crackers and then ironcladed them with 
hoops of iron taken from old pork and beef barrels. Whenever I made ap- 
plication I could not get anything although Oeneral Bumside was very 



AROIINI) PETEBSBUBG TO FOBT HELL. 203 

favorable to it. The most important thing wbm to ascertain how far I had 
to mine, because if I fell short of or went beyond the proper place the ex- 
plosion wonld have no practical eflFect; therefore, I wanted an accurate 
instrument with which to make the necessary triangnlations. I could not 
get the instrument I wanted although there was one at army headquarters, 
and General Bumside had to send to Washington and get an old-fashioned 
theodolite which was given to me. I do not (know why I could not have 
had the better instrument which was at army headquarters). I know this, 
that General Bumside told me that General Meade and Major Duane, 
chief engineer of the Army of the Potomac, said the thing could not be 
done; that it was all claptrap and nonsense; that such a length of mine 
had never been excavated in military operations and could not be; that I 
would either get the men smothered for want of air or crushed by the fall- 
ing of the earth ; or the enemy find it out and it would amount to nothing. 
I eould get no boards and lumber supplied to me for my operations. I had 
to get a pass and send two c<Mnpanies of my own regiment with wagons 
outside of our line to rebel sawmills and get lumber in that way after hav- 
ing previously got what lumber I could by tearing down an old bridge. 
I had no mining picks furnished me, but had to take common army picks 
and have them straightened for my mining picks. I finished the whole 
thing ready to put the powder in on the 23d of July. I could have done 
it in one^third or one-fourth of the time (had I been supplied with the 
proper tools and instruments). I called for twelve thousand pounds of 
powder; they gave me eight thousand. I could not get powder to put in 
or permission to put it in until the 28th or 29th. The fuse I received was 
cut in short pieces; some of them are only ten feet long. I used three lines 
of fuse called the blasting fuse, about ninety feet long, and it burned about 
forty feet, the whole three fuses. I waited from quarter after three, the 
time it was first lighted until quarter after four when it was relighted and 
it exploded at sixteen minutes to five. When fuse that was not spliced came, 
it was too late. My regiment having been engaged in constructing the mine 
W&3 not in the battle, but I volunteered on General Potter's staff, and was 
through the engagement and was there at the time of the explosion. It 
completely paralyzed them (the enemy). Those that were not killed ran 
away. There was no cannon shot fired for an hour and no infantry firing 
from the front for half an hour." 

Brevet Major-Gen. Edward Ferrero, commanding the Fourth Division, 
Ninth Army CJorps, testifies : "I had for over three weeks drilled my divi- 
sion with a view to making an assault after the springing of the mine. 
They were in fine condition, better than any other troops in the army for 



204 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

that purpose. We were expecting to make this assault and were in good 
trim for it. Before the commencement of the mine I had had a conversar 
tion with General Burmside, as it was intended I should make the assault, 
and submitted to him a plan which is already in the report. I had sur- 
veyed the ground, made an examination and given my plan of attack which 
had been approved by Greneral Burnside and it was submitted to (General 
Meade. The mine was under a considerable fort upon the right. There 
was a small fort, a short distance, probably six hundred yards to the left 
with three or four guns. - My idea was to make an assault at the moment 
of the explosion of the mine between those two points. I wanted to ad- 
vance one brigade which was to be the leading brigade, then divide it in 
two parts, one portion to go to the right and sweep the enemy's lines in 
that direction, and the other portion to go down the left and sweep the lines 
in that direction. The other two brigades of the division were to march 
forward in column and carry the crest of Cemetery Hill. My object was 
to not go over the point where the explosion was to take place, because tha 
mass of earth that would be thrown up there would impede my troops. 
My idea was to clear the enemy's line of wori^s and thus prevent a Are in 
our rear as well as in our front. The night before the assault I received 
the first intimation that my troops were not to be so used. 

^' About an hour and a half after the explosion of the mine I received 
an order to advance my troops and pass the white troops which had halted 
and move on and carry the crest of the hill at all hazards. They went in 
magnificently under a most galling fire; they passed beyond the wbite 
troops, captured the only prisoners captured that day, some two hundred 
and fifty to three hundred together with a rebel stand of colors, and re- 
captured a stand of colors belonging to a regiment of white troops of the 
Ninth Army Corps. They were a little broken by going through the mass 
of white troops there, and the colonel in command of the first brigade of 
the division proceeded to reform for the assault. There wa£i a dismounted 
cavalry lament, I think of the Second Division of the Ninth Corps a lit- 
tle off to one side. As my troops started, the color guard of that r^ment 
camie back on the double-quick, broke through the ranks of my leading 
brigade, which of course caused my negroes to break. My troops came 
back in very bad order. Finding no shelter there as the white troops had 
all the shelter, they came back to the main line, inside of which they re- 
formed, and there they remained the balance of the day. As my troops 
went in so gallantly under a most galling fire, I maintain that, had they 
led the assault when there was comparatively no fire, nothing could have 
stopped them until they got into Petersburg." 



AROUND PETERSBURG TO FORT HELL. 206 

Hajor-Qen. Oeorge G. Meade, commanding the Army of the Potomac, 
testifies: '^Prior to ismiing the ordera for the aasanlt General Bnmside 
told me it was his intention to place his colored division in the advance of 
the assaulting column. I objected to his doing so on the ground, not that 
I had any reason to believe that the colored troops would not do their duty 
as well as the white troops, but that, as they were a new division and had 
never been under Are — had never been tried — and as this was an opera- 
tion which I knew befordiand was one requiring the very best troops, I 
thought it impolitic to trust it to a division of whose reliability we had no 
evidence; therefore, I thought he ought to take one of his white divisions 
that he knew, from long experience, could be relied upon. General Bum- 
side objected. I told him then that in view of his wishes upon the subject 
I would report the matter to the lieutenant-general, state to him my reasons 
and those of General Bumside's, and let him decide. If he should decide 
that General Bumside's arguments were sound and mine were wrong, then 
I would yield. The matter was referred to General Grant and he con- 
firmed my view that it would be impolitic, in a critical operation of that 
kind, to take troops that were untried and place them in the advance, and 
it was upon that ground that General Burnside's opinion was overruled. 
I believe they had been drilled with especial view to making that charge. 
The amount of powder asked for, which was twelve thousand pounds, was 
reduced to eight thousand pounds upon the belief on my part and on my 
engineers that eight thousand pounds would be sufficient for the purpose." 

Brevet Maj.-Gen. Robert B. Potter, commanding the Second Division 
of the Ninth Army Corps, testifies : "I think it was about quarter before 
five that the explosion took place. It was then broad daylight. Immedi- 
ately all our batteries opened. Finding that my column did not advance 
as I had ordered, I sent to find out what was the difficulty. Before I got 
a report, however, Colonel Pleasants came back and told me that the First 
Division had advanced across to the enemy's works and had got into the 
crater of the mine and halted there, checking all the rest of the column. 
This report I sent to General Bumside. At the same time I sent an order 
to the commanding officer of my first brigade — the leading brigade — 
General Griffin, to advance to the right of the mine if possible and make an 
attack there on his own account. As soon as General Griffin found that 
the division of General Ledlie was in the mine he advanced his skirmishers 
and followed with his brigade. Colonel White who led the advance and 
who was taken prisoner on that occasion, advanced promptly through the 
line of the enemy's works and turned to the right as he was ordered. 
Meeting with some opposition and finding that the division of General 



206 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Ledlie was not advancing, he halted and sent back for orders. As soon as 
my report reached General Burnside he sent me a verbal order by an aid- 
de-camp to the effect that I was to advance instead of going where I had 
intended and attempt to carry the hill in front of the mine. This order 
I immediately communicated to my subordinate commanders and gave such 
orders as were necessary to alter the disposition of the troops, and en- 
deavored to push my column forward, but as soon as we advanced into 
the opening in the enemy's lines we found it filled with men. The troops 
were thrown into confusion and it was impossible to do anything with 
them. By this time, which was probably half or three^uarters of an hour 
after the ^cplosion of the mine, the enemy had recovered from* the apparent 
panic into which they had been thrown and had opened their batteries and 
concentrated their fire upon this point. The affair went on in this way for 
some time. We were endeavoring to press ahead. I got three or four of 
my regiments across and beyond this line of the enemy's works, and was 
getting them into pretty good shape. I was convinced that something most 
be done to create a diversion and distract the enemy's attention from this 
point. I accordingly gave orders to Colonel Bliss who commanded my 
second brigade to send two of his raiments to support (General Griffin and 
to take the remainder of his brigade and make an attack upon the ri^ht. 
Subsequently it was arranged that the two r^ments going to the support 
of General Griffin should pass into the crater, turn to the ri^t and sweep 
down the right of the enemy's works. This order was carried out. Ck>lonel 
Bliss was partially successful, and we got possession of the line of the 
enemy's works to the right of the crater, for the space of 200 or 300 yards, 
and one of my regiment got up within twenty or thirty yards of this battery 
which I was anxious to silence. Some time after this as I was going heuck. 
to report to General Burnside, I heard cheering and turned around and 
saw the division of colored troops coming up to make an attack. They 
were advancing some distance to my left, moving obliquely to the right 
and running parallel to the enemy's lines who were firing on them. They 
then attempted to advance forward through the crater of the mine and 
then to the right where most of my men were ; some of those troops halted 
when they found the other troops lying down; some of them advanced up 
to the ground where my men were and formed in among them. The colored 
troops made a very spirited attack and behaved remarkably well while 
coming up, but the place they came into was a place where we could hardly 
hope for any success, because the troops were so much brc^en up. They 
got up, gained some little ground, and then some time elapsed in trying to 
straighten out the men who had got confused. I went on immediately to 



AROUND PETEBSBIJBa TO FORT HBLL. 207 

find General Bnrnciide. Just as I commenced to speak some confasion arose 
and I immediately turned back and found that this division of colored 
troops had given way and was coming back. I went, then, to look after my 
own division. We did nothing more except to hold our position, until I 
received an ord^ ftrom General Burnside to report at his headquarters. 
General Ord's command was withdrawing at this time. We were then 
ordered to make arrangements for withdrawing our troops. Before I got 
back to my division, in fact I think before I left General Bumside's head- 
quarters, the enemgr made an attack on us and forced our troops out of the 
position we had gained, and we then resumed our old position." 

Brevet Maj-Gen. O. B. Wilcox commanding the Third Division, Ninth 
Army Corps, testifies : ^'When I came down to support the First Division, I 
found that division and three regiments of my division togethar with the 
regiments of the Second Division which had gone in on my right so com- 
pletely filling up the crater that no more troops could be got in there. I 
therefore ordered an attack with the rest of my division on the works of the 
enemy to the left of the crater. This attack was made and was successful, 
and the works to the left of the crater for s<Hne 160 yards of the entrench- 
ments were held for aome time by my troops. General Burnside originally 
intended to make his colored division the storming party. The colored 
troops were the freshest troops in the corps, the other troops having been 
under fire in the trenches some fifty days. The colored troops had been 
drilled with a vieW to this movement on Cemetery Hill, and it was intended 
that they should lead the advance and crown Cemetery Hill. That move- 
ment was countermanded by higher authority. To a considerable extent, it 
was contemplated in the original plan of General Burnside that there should 
be a movement to the right and left of the assaulting column. I would say 
that the general plan of the movement was known to me about noon of the 
29th, and the change in the troops to lead the assault was known to me 
about noon of the day before the assault. My orders I received about dusk.'' 

Lieut-Gen. U. 8. Grant testifies: '^I remiained with General Meade 
until probably a half or three-quarters of an hour after the springing of 
the mine. I then rode down to the front; that is, I rode as far as I could 
on horseback, and then went through to the front on foot. I there found 
that we had lost the opportunity which had been given us. It seemed to me 
th8t it was perfectly practicable for the men, if they had been properly led, 
to have gone straight through the breach which was caused by the ex- 
plosion of the mine, and to have gone to the top of Cemetery Hill. It 
looked to me, from what I could see and hear, that it was perfectly prac- 
ticable to have taken the men through ; but whether it was because the men 



208 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

themselves would not go, or whether it was becanse they were not led, I was 
not far enough to the front to be qualified to say. I blame myself a little 
for one thing. I was informed of this fact, that General Burnside who was 
fully alive to the imiportance of this thing trusted to the pulling of straws 
which division should lead. It happened to fall on what I thought was the 
worst commander in his corps. I knew that fact before the mine was ex- 
ploded, but did nothing in r^ard to it I knew the man wa* the one that I 
considered the poorest division commander that General Burnside had. I 
mean General Ledlie. General Burnside waated to put his colored division 
in front, and I believe if he had done so it would have been a success." 

Lieut-Col. Charles S. Russell, commanding six companies of the Twenty- 
Eighth United States colored troops, Thomas' brigade of Ferrero's division, 
testifies: "It was Lieutenant-General Grant who moved us up, about five 
o'clock, forwehadnot started from our bivouac in those woods at five o'clock. 
General Grant rode up and asked what brigade that was and what it was 
doing there. That was some time after the explosion of the mine and the 
cannonading had commenced. General Grant told us to move <m. The 
order was not given to me directly ; it was given to Colonel Thomas. Then 
we moved." 

These several declarations together afford such clear and compr^en- 
sive (even though incomplete) knowledge of the scheme and the manner of 
its execution that two points are established beyond reasonable doubt: 
First that the Committee on the Conduct of the War had ample ground for 
its opinion that "the cause of the disastrous result of the assault of the 
30th of July last is mainly attributable to the fact that the plans and the 
suggestions of the general who had devoted his attention for so long a time 
to the subject, who had carried out to a successful completion the project 
of mining the enemy's works, and who had carefully selected and drilled his 
troops for the purpose of securing whatever advantages might be attainable 
from the explosion of the mine, should have been so entirely disregarded 
by a general who had evinced no faith in the successful prosecution of 
that work, had aided it by no countenance or open approval, and had 
assumed the entire direction and control only when it was completed and 
the time had come for reaping any advantages that might be derived from 
it." Second, that the ultimate responsibility of the disaster, partly acknowl- 
edged, partly excused, partly ignored, rests upon him who exercised that 
very day upon that fateful field the extreme prerogative of his high rank, 
and yet, despite the promptings of his better judgment failed under cir- 
cumstances that seriously refiect upon his capabilities, or his manhood, or 



ABOXnO) PETEBSBUR6 TO FORT HSLL. 209 

both to exert it in any particular when aware confessedly of what was 
occurring and when it would have all availed. 

It cannot be inappropriate to introduce at this point for the purpose of 
comparison the view entertained by the Lieutenant-Oeneral the second day 
after the fiasco. 

Cmr Ponrr, Ya., August 1, 1864. 

The loss in the disaster of Saturday last foots up ftbout 8,500, of whom 460 men were 
killed and 2,000 wounded. It was the saddest aJlair I have witnessed in the war. Such 
opportunity for carrying fortifications I have never seen and do not expect to have. The 
enemy with a line of works five miles long had been reduced by our previous movements 
to the north side of the James river to a force of only three divisions. This line was 
undermined and blown up, carrying a battery and most of a regiment with it The enemy 
was taken completely by surprise and did not recoTer from it for more than a hour. The 
enter and several hundred yards of the enemy's line to the right and left of it and a short 
detached line in front of the crater were occupied by our troops without opposition. Im- 
mediately in front of this and not 160 yards off, with dear ground interrening, was the 
erest of a ridge leading into town, and which, if carried, the enemy would have made no 
resistance, but would have continued a flight already commenced. It was three hours 
fzom the time our troops first occupied their works before the enemy took possession of 
this crest. I am constiained to believe that had instructions been promptly obeyed that 
Petersburg would have been carried with aU the artillery and a large number of prisoners 
without a loss, of 800 men. It was in getting back to our lines that the loss was sustained. 
The enemy attempted to charge and retake the line captured from them and were repulsed 
with heavy loss by our artillery; their loss in kiUed must be greater than ours, while our 
Iocs in wounded and captured is four times that of the enemy. 

U. S. Gbant, 

Majob GairxBAi. Haxxbck, Lieutenant Oeneral, 

Washington, D. C. 

AuGuarr, 1864. 

Monday, 1st. Just before midnight last night the Seventh moved its 
camp rearward a short distance. A flag of trace was agreed npon for a 
period of three hours from six a. m. Two lines of gaards were posted 
between the pickets clad in blue and gray respectively. To them the dead 
were brought and delivered to our burial party, to the number of nearly 
three hundred. They were so swollen and disflgured by the heat, even their 
race could be distinguished only by the straightness or curliness of the 
hair. The bodies were literally alive with flies and maggots. Long ditches 
were dug for them where they were deposited as quickly as possible, for the 
task was most repulsive. Some money and watches and small relics of no 
great value were taken from their pockets, though one dead negro had 
1700 in greenbacks on his person. It was evident the rebs intended to rob 

14 



210 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

the dead, but our sharpshooters took them off. Only five wounded could be 
f onnd ; the rest had died from loss of blood, heat, and exposure. 

Tuesday, 2d. The hostile pickets have entered into an agreement not 
to fire at each other between sunrise and sunset, consequently they are 
not careful about exposing themselves. Some engage in conversation and 
seem quite friendly. 

Wednesday, 3d. It was really cold last night waiting in the front line 
for an expected attack. 

Friday, 5th. The last two nights were passed in placing stakes, and 
slashings for obstructions in front of our picket line. 

Saturday, 6th. Last night the rebels undertook to blow up one of 
our forts, but they miscalculated the distance and the mine exploded entirely 
outside our main line. The guns had been removed from the fort they were 
intending to demolish. Quite a cannonade ensued, one twelve-pound shot 
passing through Sei^eant Follensbee's tent without injuring anybody. 
Sergt. J. H. D. Sprague was detailed to the Ambulance Corps with which 
he remained during his service. 

Sunday, 7th. Sergt. W. A. Bisbee reported for duty and was at once 
placed in charge of his company, E, which consisted of three corporals and 
eight privates, in all twelve enlisted men. In the evening we carried gabions 
of our own construction to the extreme front for traverse building and 
other purposes. Three trips were accomplished by ten p. m., when we turned 
in for the night. Orders were received from division headquarters to 
gather together additional gabions sufficient to construct two traverses in 
the railroad cut and report when the same were completed. Our camp is 
dangerously located, bullets from the enemy's pickets frequently striking 
among us and wounding some one nearly every night. We are now having 
the hottest weather of the season. 

Tuesday, 9th. Albert Harrington was wounded this evening in the 
knee and Henry A. Arnold in the shoulder while sitting in camp. We are 
blessed with a light shower. The day's work consisted in a trip to a some- 
what distant fort for picks and shovels. 

Wednesday, 10th. Captain Joyce has returned slightly marked with 
smallpox, but was detailed to the brigade staff by Colonel Bliss. But two 
line officers are on duty with the r^ment. 

Thursday, 11th. Sergeant Stoothoff went to the spring to fill canteens 
as usual. Returning, he met a supply train from City Point. One of the 
teamsters said, "I will give you a drink of whisky from my canteen for a 
drink of that fresh cold water in yours." The Sergeant told him it waa a 
go. The teamster passed his canteen, telling Stoothoff to drink all he 



AROUKD PETBBSBIJBG TO FORT HELL. 211 

wanted. A canteen of water was handed up with the same privilege. 
Though they met entire strangers, and but for a moment, they parted 
satisfied friends. Lieutenant Bolles and seven men worked a squad of 
sixteen prisoners draining the railroad cut. 

Saturday, 13th. The regiment worked almost the entire night altering 
a traverse. 

Sunday, 14th. Four companies were busied until daylight altering a 
covered way to the picket line that details might enjoy more perfect protec- 
tion when going to and returning from their post. Two companies went out 
this evening to complete the job. Orders were received to prepare three 
days' rations and to be in readiness to move at an instant notice. 

Monday, 15th. At ten o'clock last night we were awakened and ordered 
to pack up. The detail was called in, leaving its work unfinished. At one 
A. M. we were relieved by some troops ftrom the Eighteenth Corps. After 
marching some three miles circuituously we were relieved soon after day- 
light by troops attached to Warren's Fifth Corps, at a spot barely half 
a mile iu a direct line from the point of departure, which was on the Taylor 
farm, and was known among us as Mine Camp No. 1. This new location 
on the Avery farm, designated Mine Camp No. 2, is nrach more favorable 
than the preceding. There is no danger in standing around and showing 
ourselves. The pickets are on the best of terms, they stroll around on the 
neutral ground, exchange papers, trade coffee for tobacco, or stationery for 
green com, swap pocket knives, finger rings, and watches, and even sit 
down and gamble for hours at a time. Should a bombardment occur, the 
rebs shout, '^anks go to your holes" and the men of both sides hasten to 
a plaoe of safety and wait its conclusion. When a rebel head appears above 
the sheltering pit saying ''Yank I will meet you again now and finish that 
game of poker," they resume their friendly truce, perhaps for hours. We 
are retired a short distance in the woods. The weather is quite comfortable 
after the showers of last night. 

Tuesday, 16th, was spent in erecting tents and shade houses for com- 
fort. Most of the men have fitted up their quarters in good shape. 

Wednesday, 17th. We were wakened soon after ten o'clock last evening 
by a heavy cannonading which continued three hours and involved the 
entire line. Its origin was to us unknown. A few projectiles dropped in 
close proximity to our camp. Picket firing was maintained thereafter until 
daylight Colonel Daniels measured the division line with the assistance 
of Lieutenant Bolles and Sergeant Colvin. We are still busy cleaning and 
beautifying our camp. 

Thursday, 18th. In the midst of a heavy rain the cannonading of the 



212 SBVENTH RHODB ISLAND INFAKTRT. 

preceding night wbs repeated. A twelve-poond shot swept down three con- 
tigaons tents, but no one was injured though the occupants became 
thoroughly drenched. The day has been spent in laying corduroy. Captain 
Bates returns home on leave. He is far from well. 

This morning one of the mounted orderlies at brigade headquarters 
was killed outside the picket line. Joseph Taylor was detailed to take his 
place and assigned to A. A. Adjt-Gen. Peleg E. Peckham. They at once 
started out and he relates : "We were obliged to pass over a route lying 
through dense shrubbery, he leading and I following. The high bushes 
swung back with a swish into the face of my horse, and, finally, he would 
not stand it. I commenced to lose ground, and, in order to keep up, took 
a turn off to one side to avoid the objectionable bush. By so doing, I lost 
my superior, and, while trying to find him, suddenly came upon three fully 
armed rebel pickets, members of the Sixteenth Georgia Tigers. I was 
startled for a moment, but, regaining myself, immediately whipped out a re- 
volver, and, covering them, demanded their surrender. They were at my 
command, for each realized that the first that dared make a move would be a 
dead man with chances that all would be shot, as I could handle my revolver 
quicker than they could handle their guns. I made them march in front 
of me and took them before Brig.-Gen. John I. Curtin, of Pennsylvania, who 
inquired with an expression of great surprise where I got them." For this 
feat the corps commander at once recommended Private TaylOT for a 
medal of honor, which came to hand in due time, July, 1897, or thirty- 
three years afterward. 

Friday, 19th. At daylight we were ordered to pack up and be ready 
to move at notice. Our destination is a matter of wonderment. At ten 
o'clock it comimenced to rain, but not until one p. m. was column formed 
in a drenching storm which continued through the night. We moved with 
our division some six miles to the left where the Fifth Corps has secured 
the Weldon Railroad and the Halifax road, reaching the battlefield just in 
time to prevent General Warren from being flanked by Ai P. Hill. We did 
not participate in the action, but were promptly put to work building 
breastworks. Captain Jenks received a sick leave of absence. 

Saturday, 20th. Last night we spent most uncomfortably in some 
swampy woods without shelter. About eight o'clock we were moved to a 
hillside, where we remained all day. By ten o'clock the weather had become 
clear and the men dried their clothes in the sun. At night more rain. 

Sunday, 21st. Still on the hillside. At night pitched tents. 

Monday, 22d. Spent the entire day building breastworks — a hard job. 



AROUND PXTBBSBURG TO FORT HBLL. 213 

Tuesday, 23d. Gut a road through thiok heavy woods. Captain Wilbur 
remeasored the division line. 

Wednesday, 24th. Completed the road which was essential for the 
direct passage of teams and artillery to the extreme left of the army line. 
We then set about constructing a six-gun fort 

Saturday, 27th. Completed the redan and returned to camp, which 
we at once rearranged and adorned. It is in a pine grove half a mile south 
or rearward from the front line, and about one mile east of Yellow or Qlobe 
Tavern (Blick's Station) . It is the first r^^lar camp since leaving Bristoe 
Station. 

Sunday, 28th. The men repaired the road in front of the camp, cleared 
up the entire premises and thoroughly cleaned their guns, their equipments 
and themselves. The rq^lation inspection was held in the forenoon, and 
a dress parade in the afternoon. Owing to the return of eight convalescents 
and drummer, Henry Sprague, we now draw 201 rations. 

Monday, 29th. Very showery. Again having inspection at five a. m. 
which we term ^^Moonlight Inspection." Dress parades continue at even- 
tide. 

Wednesday, Slst. Commenced the construction of a corduroy road 
at the Jones House, near Fort Warren, some four miles away.. It is to be 
eight miles long, terminating at the Fifth Corps headquarters. At the 
unusual hour of nine p. m. the regiment was mustered for two months' pay. 

Sbftbmbbb^ 1864. 

Tuesday, 20th. Most of the time this month has been devoted to road- 
building, which seems to be quite an art in itself, more especially as every 
foot must be corduroyed. The construction of one or two bridges came 
in as a mere incidental. General Warren often visited us, remarking, ^^I 
never saw soldiers work with the will the Seventh men do." Still we cannot 
help thinking it a queer sort of campaigning against the rebels. At mid- 
night on the 14th, we were called up and made ready to move, but as no 
orders came, most of us dropped asleep again. This was merely a precau- 
tionary measure against a counter-attack, while a division of cavalry and 
a brigade of infantry were raiding in the direction of Beam's Station. On 
the 15th we had 218 men in camp and our line is as long as regiments aver- 
age. This morning at eight, we had a division drill for ninety minutes, and 
at two p. M. a battalion drill of equal length. At its close an official an- 
nouncement of Sheridan's victory in the Shenandoah was received from the 
War Department and read, and naturally loudly cheered. Corp. Esek B. 
Darling is seriously ill. 



214 SEVENTH RHODE ISLANI) INFANTRY. 

Wednesday, 2l8t. There was a heavy cannonading of forty minutes' 
duration at five o'clock at our right on the Second Corps front. Cause and 
result to us unknown. The brigade was reviewed during the forenoon by 
Gen. B. B. Potter. Col. John I. Curtin was in command. The line from 
right to left consisted of the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania, Forty-fifth Pennsyl- 
vania, Fifty-eighth Massachusetts, Fifty-first New York, Fourth Bhode 
Island, Thirty-fifth Massachusetts, Twenty-first Massachusetts, Thirty- sixth 
Massachusetts, and Seventh Bhode Island. 

Thursdaj^ 22d. Company drill this afternoon. Corporal Darling is 
sent to the general hospital. The day is showery. 

Friday, 23d. Forenoon spent in clearing up and leveling oft a parade 
ground; in the afternoon battalion drill. 

Saturday, 24th* Very showery. Joseph Morris and Corporal McFar-. 
land return from Alexandria. 

Sunday, 25th. At three p. m. we were ordered to be ready to leave in 
twenty minutes. We were ready. The galloping of staff ofBcers to and 
fro, and the stir among surrounding organizations showed this was no 
false alarm. At five p. m. we started toward the right of the lines, oroBsed 
the Jerusalem Plank Boad at Hancock Station, continued across the open 
fields and at eight p. m. halted in some woods just east of that road, and 
on the east side of the railroad near a trestle bridge, and near what had 
been the headquarters of the Third Division, Second Corps. Our second 
brigade went up to the front and relieved the pickets of that corps, they 
going still farther to the right to the assistance of Butler. There was 
heavy picket firing on our front all night. Corporal Howland and Private 
Joyeaux were sent to the hospital to-night. 

^Monday, 26th. Heavy cannonading in Butler's direction. Cars have 
been continuously transporting troops to and fro. They run as far as 
Hancock Station. At five p. m. we were moved to a position directly across 
the railroad and established a regular camp. 

Tuesday, 27th. The camp is well-nigh completed. The colonel has a 
good tent, a guard house has been built, a well commenced, and even dress 
parade held, but the men are uneasy, though they can assign no reason 
for their disquietude. 

Wednesday, 28th. At three a. m. we were aroused and ordered to be 
in readiness to move at daylight. Earliest rays of the rising sun found us 
in line with arms stacked. Thirty minutes later we started for our old 
camp near the Weldon Bailroad, arriving there at nine. At one, orders 
were issued to occupy it, but the hint was also given not to fix it up 
much, as we would probably tarry but a few hours. At sunset tents were 




POPLAR SPRING CHURCH 

^^s situateil four miles frrnu Petersburg on the northerly side of tlie ^'" Church Road/' 
niiil^ay the westerly descent to its crossing of tlie stream flowing from the spring, but set 
K^ck dbout a hundred feet on slightly rising ground. It was no larger than an ordinary 
i^i^'^'ng, unpainted and somewhat dilapidated. During the fierce engagement of 
-ie/>teniber 30, 1804, it was used by the l^nionists as a field hospital, but not long after- 
ward ft was demolished. Near its site is the Poplar Grove Xational Cemetery. The 
present Pojdar (irove Church is about a quarter of a mile south of the original one. 



ABOUND PETERSBURG TO FORT HELL. 215 

erected for the night. At eight p. m. there was heavy picket firing in front 
of the Second Oorps, followed by a fierce artillery duel for more than an 
hour. At ten p. m. notice was given that we should be called at three a. m. 
A bread ration was distributed at eleven p. m. 

Thursday, 29th. At one a. m. ammunition was distributed. At three 
A. M. we were told to pack up and be ready to move at four a. m. At 4.30 
line was formed on the parade ground, arms stacked and the order to rest 
given. Neither sleep nor rest had been secured, for not only were we kept 
stirring ourselves, but the troops of all kinds as they returned to their old 
quarters passed within half a dozen rods of our tents, the infantry laugh- 
ing and singing, the cavalry swords clinking and its hoofs pounding, the 
battery wheels and wagon wheels rumbling heavily. Midday found us still 
lounging around. At sunset orders were received to reoocupy for the 
night our old quarters, but the procedure seemed unwise to Oolonel Daniels, 
so he compelled us to lie down without cover in front of his quarters. As 
the night was warm and pleasant it mattered little. At eight p. h. a dis- 
patch was read announcing the capture of a long line of works, a consider- 
able number of prisoners, and some artillery, by General Ord's division 
near the Gfaapin Farm on General Butler's front. The announcement was 
enthusiastically cheered, and, indeed, loud cheering could be heard on 
every hand, yet most of us laid down to rest and to obtain all possible 
sleep. 

Friday, 30th. Arose early, formed line, stacked arms, ate breakfast 
and laid down to rest. At eleven a. m.^ in company with the brigade, we 
crossed the Weldon Railroad and continued in a southwesterly course some 
two miles beyond, passing entirely outside our defense lines into new coun- 
try, and, halting at the edge of some woods. Here we were detached and 
led into the adjacent opening near the little creek, Bowanta, southeast of 
Mr. Peeble's house, there to await orders. From our tool wagon each man 
was supplied with a spade, axe, or a pick. This looked like work. Three- 
quarters of an hour later we were instructed to leave our tools upon the 
ground, take our muskets and fall in. Presently we were taken into the 
woods and in front of the brigade to the skirmish line. After advancing 
through the woods nearly three-quarters of a mile we reached an open field 
bordering on the Squirrel Level Road which led from Mr. Peeble's house 
and Poplar Spring Church to Petersburg. Here to our surprise we were 
ordered to return to our tool wagon where we belonged, and to remain with 
it until otherwise directed. We promptly obeyed and were soon back 
whence we started. Arms were stacked and dinner prepared, it now being 
four p. H. and the day very warm. 



216 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Immediately upon our arrival at that open field, the Fifth Corps, whioh 
was in advance, charged across it and captured a fort (Graham) with ad- 
joining rifle pits, three field pieces, and about a hundred prisoners. The 
Seventh was directly in the rebel line of fire, and so received a few stray 
shells, but none were injured thereby. Ere long instructions were received 
to take our tools and move forward to the left of the position just secured. 
The Ninth Corps also went. Passing General Warren's conunand we soon 
discovered the necessity of much caution. Line of battle was at once 
formed to the right and left from the P^ram House, the regiments coming 
into the field at the double-quick and moving to their positions with the 
utmost dispatch. The Seventh was stationed at the house. Before the 
Union formation was completed its skirmishers had engaged those of the 
enemtf who drove our skirmishers back a short distance. At this moment 
a section (termed platoon in 1902) of Captain Boomer's Thirty-fourth New 
York Battery came to the house, unlimbered in the border of the cornfield 
directly in front of the house, the guns pointing westerly or left oblique 
to the general direction of our line, and at once opened fire. A Confederate 
battery immediately responded sending their projectiles everywhere around 
the house and even through it, killing and wounding not a few. Our main 
line of battle advanced quickly into the woods, and at once became engaged, 
the crashing of musketry being heavy and continuous. Colonel Daniels 
formed line intending to follow up the rear, and also to act as a support to 
the battery. Thus it had advanced quite a little distance beyond the Pegram 
house. Ere long, however, the brigade on our front became hard pressed, 
broke in places, and came back in confusion. At first we thought they 
were all wounded men, but soon discovered such was not the case. Leaving 
our wagon of tools Colonel Daniels then quickly formed a rear guard with 
the r^ment, deploying the four right companies under Captain Wilbur, 
and partially succeeded in stopping the stamipede. They came so thick and 
fast, however, we could not hold them all in check, though a considerable 
number rallied on our right and left. We held our position believing there 
was a line of battle in front of us. So there was, but not of the complexion 
we supposed. A little rise of ground in our front prevented us from know- 
ing exactly what was occurring beyond. Suddenly a line of gray appeared 
over the crest. They discovered through the smoke what appeared to be 
a solid lind of blue and wavered. We opened fire and stopped their quick 
advance. The battery, meanwhile, had limbered up and moved rapidly to 
the rear. General Potter was using sword, threats, and entreaties on the 
men in the disorganized mass urging them to move up and assist us. ^^For 
God's sake move up and help that little Seventh Bhode Island!" were his 




Chester P. Round. 
Lieut. George B. Inmar. 
Wanton G. Austin. 
lieot. Henry Lincoln. 



Lieut« Frederick Weigand. 
Elisha G. May. 
Lieut. William Hill. 
John H. Eddy. 



Lieut. Winthrop A. Moore. Capt. Georee N. Stone. 

Adjt. John Sullivan. Elijah Frank White. 

Capt. Albert C. Eddy. Capt. R. G. Rodman. 

Capt. Lyman M. Bennett. Sergt. Job R. Sweetland. 



AROUND PETERSBURG TO PORT HELL. 217 

words. Qeneral Griffin, too, was trying to form his men on us. Both the 
generals remained in the very front, fearless and cool, and our line was 
being strengthened when the rebs again advanced, the nuen on our left now 
gave way, and we w^e obliged gradually to fall back eight or ten rods to 
the fences around the Pegram house where a final halt was made, the offi- 
cers succeeding in reforming the line. The Johnnies came no nearer than 
the ridge where we made the previous stand. Once or twice they attempted 
to descend on this side, but those our bullets did not stop soon went yelling 
back. 

Meanwhile Captain Wilbur and his four companies had become entirely 
lost to Colonel Daniels and the remainder of the regiment. ''When the 
rebs came over the hill those on our front of course commenced firing at 
us, but as we were well scattered we did not make much of a target. Then 
came the order to lie down, which was promptly obeyed. The hostile line 
continued to advance, however, until just in the nick of time a brigade of 
the Fifth Corps came out of the woods on the side of the hill, directly 
behind us and delivered a terrible volley. This checked its progress, and 
diverted attention from us. For quite awhile we lay there between two 
heavy fires not daring to raise our heads. Finally, the captain instructed 
us to fall back if we could without getting killed. It was somewhat dark 
when we did start, and good time was made getting out of that hot hole. As 
we arose the Johnnies dropped their bullets among us like hailstones, shout- 
ing, 'Stop you Yankee sons of ! stop! stop! Throw down your arms 

and stop !' Their demcuid was unheeded. When, at length, we rejoined our 
colors, we were joyfully surprised that so many had safely escaped, remarit- 
ing the feat could not be accomplished again in a hundred attempts." While 
the lines were in such close proximity, not a shot or a shell did the rebels 
throw into our ranks, but, finally, they fell back a short distance, and just 
before it was quite dark, commenced firing from one of their forts. Two of 
our batteries were brought to the front and soon silenced it Then all was 
quiet for the night. Our r^imental loss was First Sergt. Samuel McElroy,* 
of Company I, lost a leg ; Privates Stephen A. Clarke of Company E, Gilbert 
Durfee,* of Company C, killed ; Daniel McCready, Company B, William A. 
Holley, Andrew J. Whitcomb,t Company E; Sergt. G. H. Potter and J. 
W. Qavitt of Company K, wounded. 

OCTOBBR, 1864. 

Saturday, 1st. Called at four a. m.^ formed line, and stacked arms 
behind the breastworks thrown up last night. At eight a. h. rain began to 



218 SEVENTH BHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

fall. At ten a. m. we took axes and went out to cut away some pine 
woods that obstnicted the view. They were situated quite near the enemy's 
pickets who ere long opened fire and drove us back to our lines. Thomas 
Quinlan was shot through both thighs, while John Moore and William Wei- 
don were injured by a falling tree. Work was then commenced on an earth- 
work to shelter a battery which afterward became Fort Welsh. Meanwhile 
a section of DurelPs battery came up and vigorously shelled the rebel picket 
compelling it to fall back. Thereupon our line advanced farther out and 
constructed sheltering pits to hold the additional ground. After dinner 
we returned to the pine grove, and, at four p. m.^ finished leveling the trees 
without molestation. At night we pitched our tents in the mud close behind 
the breastworks and made ourselves as comfortable as the continued rain- 
storm permitted. 

Sunday, 2d. Before dinner the left wing followed certain movements 
of the Fifth Corps and the Second Division of the Ninth, to bury any of 
those killed on the 30th that might be found, while the right was engaged in 
felling trees. Alfter dinner all resumed work on Fort Welsh. 

Monday, 3d. A day's rest in camp. The Fourth Rhode Island start 
for home. 

Tuesday, 4th. At six a. m. we move up a third of a mile to the front 
line of works. The re-enlisted veterans of the Fourth, and its recruits num- 
bering 130 present, but 240 on the rolls, reported for service with us. A 
detail for picket was sent out a quarter of a mile, while the outposts are, of 
course, still beyond. There was a brief artillery duel in the afternoon 
owing to an attempt by the rebels to crowd them back. They did not suc- 
ceed, however. At night one-third of the regiment is required to stand at 
the breastworks at a time. Every man, therefore, has to perform his full 
share of duty. This assures prompt action should our picket line be sur- 
prised by a superior force. Fine weather now. 

Wednesday, 5th. Our picket is at the Boswell House. 

Thursday, 6th.. Albert Whipple wounded near Bethesda Church re- 
turned. At dress parade the adjutant read the following : 

HsAiMinABTSRS 7th R. I. V., 
Kbab Poplab Spbiko Chukoh, Oct 6, 1864. 

General Orders No. 8, In accordance with oiders from Bridgade Headquarters I 
hereby assume command of the detachment of the 4th R. I. Vols. 

Comrades of the Fourth, to our hearthstones, to the shadow of our flag you are 
heartily welcomed. Watched by the same friends, brothers at home, this union whether 
temporary or permanent cannot be less than pleasant for both, for a union of two oiganisa- 



ABOUND PETERSBURG TO FORT HBLL. 219 

tioiu whose record has been so creditable alike to themaelTee and to their natiTC state 
must be harmonious and agreeable. Now our hardships and our dangers will be common 
and our snnny hours shared alike by alL Let e^ery man striTe to sustain the name so 
nobly earned by each and our future will be as honorable as the past. 

PnoT Danibls, Lt CoL Commanding. 

Friday, 7th. At nine a. h. we were relieved by the Thirty-sixth Maasa- 
chnsetts, and, moving easterly a few rods started a new camp, which will 
prove more pleasant when cleaned np. Captain Wilbur as brigade ofBcer 
of the day arranged a trace with the corresponding rebel ofBcial, and ob- 
tained permission to bury the dead found between the lines which were 
killed a week ago. The two officers had quite a confidential chat during 
which the reb remarked that they charged on the 30th with force enough 

they thought to go right through our lines, but there was "a little Q — d 

raiment'' stopped them, and he would like to know if he could tell him what 
regiment it was. 

Saturday, 8th. Soon after eight two hundred men carrying their can- 
teens, hav^sacks, and one hundred axes, passed outside the picket line 
and commenced chopping away a thick pine grove that obstructed our view 
and that extended to within twelve rods of the enemy's picket. In two 
or three hours every tree was cut two-thirds through, but not one felled. 
The sound of the axes without apparent result developed a contingency, the 
instructions to the rebel lieutenant commanding did not cover, so he started 
out for orders. Applying in vain at sundry headquarters, he at length 
reached General Lee's, where he was ordered to open fire on the working 
party in his front. Just as he returned to his post a sudden gust of wind 
brought all the trees down with a crash, exposing the opposing lines to 
the other's view. By chance, at the same instant. Colonel Daniels was riding 
down to our picket line to inspect our work, and, as he was the only 
mounted ofiScer in sight, and we were well concealed by the fallen trees, he 
had the full benefit of the volley. A bullet passed through his hat, another 
through his blouse, and a third into the chest of his favorite Morgan mare, 
Kitty, instantly killing her. So closely did he stick to her when she fell 
over, that the rebel ofScer afterward inquired of our men when a flag of 
truce to bury the dead was in force, what ofScer it was they killed so slick. 
He was much surprised to be told that if he would come to our camp he 
could easily have an introduction to his supposed victim. Col. Percy Daniels. 
The latter made for the rear at once as did the entire working party, being 
fairly well shielded from observation by the foliage of the fallen trees. He 
remarked to the detail when it had assembled that it would have been 



220 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

rather tough for him to have been popped over then, as he had a ten dayti' 
leave in his pocket. Their task having been accomplished, all returned to 
camp which they reached at one p. m. Not a soul was Injured. After dark 
some of the boys went out and secured the saddle and bridle. 

Sunday, 9th. Colonel Daniels started for home this morning, leaving 
Captain Wilbur in command; company drills were held for variety's sake; 
the regiment was paid off, and to-night Bev. Mr. Watson left for Bhode 
Island taking a large amount of money to our friends at homa 

Tuesday, 11th. Captains Hunt and Potter return, the former having 
been on duty at Annapolis, Md., since his discharge from the hospital 
there. More company drill. General Meade has been looking over this 
neighborhood to-day. 

Wednesday, 12th. Two Confederate deserters came into our picket 
line last night. They were conscripted eight months ago, but so closely 
were they watched, this was their first opportunity for escape. A large 
detail was sent to slash the standing timber in front of Fort Welsh, whioh 
is now complete and occupied by the Seventh Maine Battery. 

Thursday, 13th. Reveille at 4.30 a. m. The entire raiment is busily 
engaged in the construction of a new fort, the first work on Fort Fisher. 
The rebs occasionally attempt to shell our camp, but as yet no one has been 
injured, though two were killed in the next regiment. A military execution 
occurred at ten a. m. within a quarter of a mile of our camp, west of and 
adjoining the Feeble house. It was a general rule that the prisoner's regi- 
ment should always be included among the unavoidable spectators, and 
also such regiments of the brigade as were available under existing circum- 
stances. As an organization, the Seventh never participated in such scenes, 
for we were always stationed at the extreme front line. It was while the 
soldiery were forming three sides of a hollow square beside a newly digged 
grave that I learned the purpose of the unusual proceedings. The group 
of voluntary spectators increased rapidly and gradually overreached the 
ends of the military lines at the corners of the open side of the square. I 
took position on a slight mound at the rear of the end of one of the lines, and 
from that point had a good view of the enclosed space. Considerable time 
now elapsed before the solemn procession was seen approaching. The 
marshal led, followed by the brigade band playing a dirge. Next came four 
soldiers bearing a cofSn, and then the condemned between files of soldiers 
with fixed bayonets. The military forming the square had opened ranks 
and the inner line faced outward. Between these two lines the procession 
marched slowly entering at one end, passing around and emerging at the 



AROUND PETERSBURG TO FORT HELL. 221 

Other. MoYing now to the open grave the culprit was halted at the head 
of his coffin, which had been deposited at the head of the grave, the band 
and escort moving on nntil they had assumed their proper positions inside 
and toward the closed side of the square. The inner line of soldiers was 
now faced inward. Familiar with death as were the spectators, it was to 
them an impressive scene, as the firing party silently drew np and took 
its place facing the condemned, and the marshal commenced reading the 
warrant. All eyes were rivetted on the spot. The prisoner, as calm, ap- 
parently as any of the spectators, stooped down and picked np a straw 
which he continued to chew throughout the reading. Then the chaplain 
and the marshal engaged with him in conversation inaudible to others, 
though there was not a whisper in the entire assemblage. Presently the 
two former removed their caps, and the reverential attitude of the first 
indicated that he was engaged in prayer. The eyes of the wretched man 
wandered over the unnumbered faces before him. When the prayer was 
concluded, the marshal placed the condemned in a sitting posture on the 
coffin, strapped his feet together and pinioned his hands behind him while 
the chaplain remfoved his hat, drew from his own pocket a handkerchief 
with which, when carefully folded, he bandaged the prisoner's eyes. His 
mouth contracted during this final preparation, which shut out forever the 
world from his view. Each arrangement was made with dignity and de- 
liberation. The spectatCMTS held their breath. The period of suspense 
seemed an age. Something like a veil came before my eyes, and my heart 
beat violently as the marshal took position on the right of the firing party 
and drew his sword. Meanwhile the crowd of spectators had partially 
closed the open side of the square, but the advance of that officer and the 
flourishing of his blade warned them back. The chaplain had retired to a 
safe position just as by motions of hands and sword, not by words, the 
marshal gave the commands : ^'Beady ! Aim ! Fire !" The front rank of 
the detail brought their glittering muskets to their shoulders, and their 
Hash promptly responded to the flourish of the sword. The victim fell back- 
ward, his head falling on the cover of the empty coffin, while down its un- 
painted sides flowed streams of blood. Column was formed, and, headed 
by the band playing a lively air, it marched past the remains, aflFording all 
an opportunity to view him as he had fallen. The entire aflFair was con- 
ducted with such order and solemnity as to prove very aflfecting. One of 
the rifles issued the firing party is always loaded with a blank cartridge, so 
that none can be certain he fired a fatal shot. The man's name was given 
as Charles Merlin, though the surname at least was said to be incorrect. 
He was a private in the Second Maryland Regiment brigaded with us, and 



222 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAKD INFANTRY. 

the crime thus expiated was desertion. The snrgeong reported his breast 
bone was completed shattered, and one ballet passed through his arm. 

Standing near by when the volley was fired, was a darky who instantly 
screamed with pain, clapped both hands on one ear, bowed his head, and 
jerked up one knee nntil his face rested thereon. Blood was flowing freely 
from a ragged hole through the rim of his ear. One of the bullets had been 
deflected in its course and gave the gentleman of color a close call, although 
he was supposed to be well out of range of even a chance shot. When I 
again visited the spot late in the afternoon it was impossible to identify the 
burial place. A field battery was using the slope as a drill ground. 

Wednesday, 19th. To-day we have a rest; it is remarked we must 
have been forgotten. We have been laboring continuously on Port Fisher 
which has been pactically completed and is garrisoned. It is 120 feet long, 
100 broad, and contains seven guns. Later it was much enlarged. The 
veterans of the Fourth are inspected. 

Friday, 21st. A large detail is engaged in placing abatis in front of 
the fort and the breastworks. It also finished slashing a certain section 
of standing timber in front and along the east side of the road. A large 
forked tree was, however, left standing as an observation station. The 
order for our consolidation with the veterans and recruits of the Fourth 
Rhode Island wsa issued to-day, but for some reason the absolute muster 
of all a« one regiment did not take place until February 1, 1865. The 
six smallest companies of the Seventh, B — C, Q — H, D — I, were merged as 
indicated to form companies C, H, and I, of the new organization. The 
remaining four. A, E, F,and K, preserved their structure and their designa- 
tion. The members of the Fourth formed three companies, B, D, and G, each 
having two ofScers and eighty-two, eighty, and eighty-seven men respectively. 

Saturday, 22d. Half the regiment cut timber in front of Fort Fisher 
during the forenoon, and the other half in the afternoon. Very windy and 
cold with some rain. 

Sunday, 23d. Two recruits arrived. John Bradbury returns from hos- 
pital; he had been wounded in the foot. A large detail is cutting timber 
in front of Fort Fisher. Near our picket line lives an old man who had 



AROUND PETBRSBURG TO PORT HELL. 223 

deserters all report that the election of General McGlellan is their only 
hope now. 

Tuesday, 25th. At three p. m. were called out to move some breastworks 
and connect them with Port Fisher on each flank. We were surprised to 
be told, "Be in readiness to move at dark," and equally surprised to be kept 
continuously at work until nine p. m. Six days' rations are supplied. 

Wednesday, 26th. The men had a good night's rest. All baggage is 
ordered to the rear. Each fort is supplied with ammunition. At ten a. m. 
went out on drill, but soon called In to go on fatigue duty. Wa« sent to 
cut, prepare and set a line of sharpened stakes around Fort Fisher. This 
morning the rebel pickets inquired why we did not move to the left as in- 
tended last night. They assured us they had a line of battle ready to receive 
us and give us a warm reception.* The fact is a member of the Thirty-fifth 
Massachusetts deserted the night before and told them of our preparations 
to leave with six days' rations. They governed themselves accordingly. 

Thursday, 27th. Up at four a. m. and started soon after daylight in a 
westerly direction expecting we were bound for Stony Greek, twenty-five 
miles distant, to destroy a section of the South Side Railroad. After pro- 
ceeding about a mile, and, halting, were surprised to hear picket firing. 
Surely there is fighting ahead. Twenty minutes later we advanced another 
half mile and halted, lounging about and discussing the prospects. Generals 
Meade, Hancock, Warren, and Parke, were observed riding around the 
fields and through the woods, but, finally, they separated, each going in 
diflferent directions. Meanwhile the picket firing continued. Soon another 
forward movement for a short distance and a halt. Our skirmishers are 
evidently crowding back those of the enemy. The country is full of troops 
marching and countermarching in all directions. The Second Gorps has 
gone around farther to the left This division is evidently held in reserve 
being now to the rear of the entire force. At eight a. m. we again advance a 
little, the skirmish firing continually increasing. At eleven a. m. we moved for- 
ward once more, this time in line of battle, across a cornfield to the Watkins 
honse, and erect a line of breastworks, destroying for the purpose four 
out-buildings that their material might be utilized in the more rapid con- 
struction of a defense. There seems to be a swamp in our front. There is 
no firing in that direction, but a battery stands awaiting orders close in 



224 SEVENTH BHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Friday, 28th. A fine morning. It is reported our troops are slowly 
falling back, retiring, but not forced. Appearances confirm the rumor; all 
troops seenx to be returning. At eleven o'clock the Ninth Corps commences 
to move to the rear. The rebel skirmishers closely crowd ours until we 
reach our permanent line. At three p. m. all are back in their old quarters 
resting and philosophizing. Our generals say they went forth in searoh of 
information and returned satisfied. We suspect the enemy was found in too 
heavy a force to battle successfully. 

Saturday, 29th. Desertions from the enemy are increasing; men come 
into our lines every night. They aver their comrades are disheartened. It 
is related that one evening seven of their men were placed on an advanced 
post and seven more were stationed a little to the rear to watch them and 
prevent desertions. Before morning the entire fourteen came over to us. 

During Thursday's reconnoisance toward Hatcher's Bun three men 
showed signs of fear and skulked to the rear. Upon our return Colonel 
Daniels called them up and read to them an order designating them as 
<^The Skulker's Squad." It prohibited them from all intercourse with their 
conotides, assigned to them separate quarters, obliged them to cook their 
own food and to perform all fatigue and police duty for the regiment, to 
attend dress parade by themselves a little to the left of the line under com- 
mand of a corporal, and thus to continue until by submission to this pun- 
ishment, by strict obedience to orders and by evident anxiety to discharge 
every duty like true soldiers, they should show a willingness to meet what- 
ever dangers might come upon them, and a desire to bear an equal part in 
the burdens and the hardships of the campaign. The order was published 
on dress parade. Two of the men were from the Fourth, and one from 
Company B, of the Seventh. This action was commended by many regi- 
mental commanders who adopted it with beneficial results. 

Sunday, 30th. Between nine and ten this evening the rebels attacked 
a portion of the line held by the Second Corps. We could see the shells 
bursting in midair and hear the heavy cannonading as well as crashing 
volleys of musketry. 

Monday, 31st. Mustered for two months' pay. Corporal Darling re- 
joins us from the hospital. While encamped here an endless well and a con- 
stantly moving regimental wood pile were in operation as adjuncts to the 
regimental guardhouse. Dr. Corey had a new uniform suit stolen. Soon 
after the engagement of the 30th ultimo, Sergt. E. C. Cole and Color Ser- 
geant Stoothoff were sent by the colonel to City Point to procure some silk 
with which to repair the flag. On the train their passes were taken from 
them, they were placed under arrest, carried to the Point, and held as 



AROUND PETERSBURG TO FORT HELL. 225 

prifloners without food or cofiFee or other comforts. Next day with many 
others they were placed on the cars and sent to corps headquarters where 
they were paraded and then instructed to return to their regiments. The 
silk was never procured and the flag was never repaired. 

Soldiers could not conveniently carry bowling alleys with them, but 
the deficiency was well supplied in the follwing manner : From the centre 
of a beam supported by two trees a twelve-pound shell was suspended so 
as to just clear the ground in its oscillations. The pins were set up just 
beyond and in front of the spot over which the ball hung when at rest. 
The game was played by throwing the ball so that it would miss them on 
its forward swing but strike them on its return. Some nice calculations 
were essential to doing this with certainty. A given number of shots were 
allotted each player, but he lost these if he struck the pins on the forward 
swing. 

NOVBMBBB, 1864. 

Tuesday, 1st. Oen. B. B. Potter reviewed the division at three p. m. 
Gapt. Henry S. Burrage, of the Thirty-sixth Massachusetts, brigade officer 
of the day, was captured under the following circumstances: When 
General Ourtin gave him his instructions he said, '^You will not allow the 
men on the picket line to exchange papers, but if an opportunity for such 
an exchange occurs you are at liberty to avail yourself of it and bring the 
pai>ers to me." The captain at once sent word to the officers of the picket 
that there would be no exchange of papers except by himself. While mak- 
ing his first rounds with the division officer they came to a road which 
crossed our line in a thick growth of timber and passed through the ene- 
my's line. The lieutenant in charge of the picket posts here directed at- 
tention to a Confederate officer with a paper in his hand about a hundred 
yards distant at a bend of the road, evidently waiting for some one to come 
out from! our lines and exchange as had been almost the daily custom at 
that point for some time. Captain Burrage walked down the road to meet 
him. He had three Bichmond papers while the captain had but a single 
Washington one. The trade was effected, however, the captain agreeing to 
bring out the Sunday Morning Chronicle in the afternoon. The rebel 
stated he was the major of the Second Mississippi. In the afternoon the 
captain returned to the place and after waiting awhile in vain concluded 
the rebel was waiting for him at his own picket, so he passed down to the 
bend in the road and halted waving his paper. He was at once covered by 
all the muskets in the vicinity, and the officer of the picket ordered him to 
come in or they would fire. There was no alternative so he went forward 

15 



226 SEVBNTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

and gave himself up. He was taken before General Heth, division com- 
mander, who was well aware of the capture and the method of its accom- 
plishment, for the pretended Mississippi officer was none other than his owii 
courier, and the paper delivered in the morning had been straightway car- 
ried to said Heth. He at once greeted him in a somewhat lofty tone with, 
"Captain, there is no intercourse between my people and your people. Ton 
will be held as a prisoner of war." Subsequently in reporting this matt^ 
to Generals Hill and Lee he concealed certain important relevant facts, 
thereby transforming a partial truth into a contemptible lie. Colonel Cowan 
and General Hill realized the dishonor of the situation in which they found 
themselves, and would have returned the captain to our lines at the earliest 
time had the exigences of their service permitted, but Lee listened 
to Heth's statements sent through General Hill, though he must have known 
the facts in the case, for Gen. Roger A. Pryor emphatically warned him the 
Yankees would certainly retaliate. Captain Burrage was sent first to 
Libby and then to Danville, but waa exchanged Feb. 22, 1865, with some 
five hundred other prisoners. Meanwhile, by special order, dated November 
7th, General Meade dismissed him from the service, of course without trial, 
for having, in violation of repeated orders, held communication with the 
enemy by an interchange of newspapers, though admitting his own staff 
officers were as guilty as any. Upon an understanding of the facts in the 
case, however, the order was revoked by President Lincoln. When he re- 
joined the brigade he was at once made assistant adjutant-general on Gen- 
eral Curtin's staff, with a view of repairing any injury that may have been 
done him by General Meade, and held that position until his r^ment re- 
turned to Massachusetts. The fact is, that it was simply one of the innume^ 
able outbursts of spleen for which Meade was notorious. The episode is 
here recorded, because it throws a sidelight on the character of a number of 
famous individuals, because it attained national importance, and because 
the captain having graduated at Brown University in 1861 has an extended 
circle of friends in Rhode Island even to this day. 

Wednesday, 2d. The One Hundred and Ninety-eighth Penne^lvania 
Regiment in camp near by moved away, leaving behind considerable camp 
material and firewood, which was promptly utilized. Just before midnight 
a cold storm set in with rain and sleet. 

Friday, 4th. The weather cleared and the men set to work improving 
their quarters. Lieutenant McKay rejoins us. William H. Clajiin, of 
Company I, is our newsboy. 

Saturday, 5th. Lieut. Daniel S. Remington, who left us at Point 
Burnside and has been on General Bumside's istafl, returned to-day. Last 



AROUND FETSRSBUBG TO FOBT HELL. 227 

night a rebel deserter came over to our pickets with the remark that Old 
Bob Lee was not going to freeze and starve him all winter. 

Sunday, 6th. Last night another soldier and a negro came over to our 
lines. The former reported that the afternoon before he had received three 
dajs' rations and had consumed the whole for his supper. Just before 
midnight the rebels attacked onr lines in front of the Second Corps and 
maintained the conflict until the ensuing dawn. The display of pyroteoh- 
nios was brilliant, though the cannonading and heavy musketry would 
bave been terrifying to those unfamiliar therewith. 

Tuesday, 8th. Presidential Election Day. The loyal states, with few 
exceptions, enacted special laws to enable those defending the flag to ex- 
press their wish as to who should be their commander-in-chief. These 
were carried out under regulations issued by the adjutant-genaral of the 
United States. Details of course varied according to place and circum- 
stances. At one camp the 'Tolls" consisted of a tent-fly to shelter the in- 
spector of votes and a rough discarded hard-tack box for the reception of 
ballots, over which floated an American flag, on a rather dilapidated staff. 
At another they consisted of an ambulance and an old annnunition box, 
conveniently sheltered by some scattered trees. Electioneering speeches 
and gatherings had been forbidden but they would have effected nothing 
either way, for the campflre discussions never made a Republican anything 
else, neither did they transform a war Democrat to a peaoe or compromise 
Democrat, or act vice versa. Our regiment cast ninety votes for Lincoln 
and eighteen for McClellan. Companies H, O, and D, went unanimous for 
the former, Company F gave a majority for the latter. The One Hundredth 
Pennsylvania, ''The Bound Heads," stood two hundred and six for Lincoln 
and sixteen for ''Little Mac." The Second New York Rifles did not cast a 
single vote for the latter. 

Wednesday, 9th. Adjt Henry J. Spooner, of the Fourth, is perma- 
nently assigned to duty as acting adjutant of the Seventh, our own adju- 
tant, John Sullivan, being a prisoner of war. 

Sunday, 13th. The weather is cold and uncomfortable, so we have de^ 
cided to provide our tents with fireplaces and chimneys, also to close all 
crevices. 

Thursday, 17th. Capt. J. D. Moore, of Huger's battery, battalion Vir- 
ginia Light Artillery (Confederate), was married at eight p. m. near Lynch- 
burg, Ya. Some wag in his command, who accidentally had become ac- 
quainted with the real cause of the captain's absence, at that hour fired one 
of their twelve-pounders. The resulting cannonade extended along the line 
to Biohmond. Such wedding peals are seldom heard. 



228 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Friday, 8th. At brigade review Admiral David G. Farragnt rode 
down the lines. His hair is very gray and he seems aged. Yit^ James 
Carpenter returns and rejoins his company, G. 

Saturday, 19th. Though stormy a detail has been planting istakes and 
wire entanglements in front of the works. The latter are so arranged that 
when a man tumbles over one wire his face will strike the next This morn- 
ing there were six prisoners in the guardhouse, two for skulking from the 
ranks, one for being absent ten days from the regiment without leave, one 
for refusing to perform fatigue duty, one for laughing in the ranks when on 
drill, and one for using insolent language to a sergeant. 

A novel attack was made early this morning on the rebel lines opposite 
our front, howbeit all unbeknown to us. Report was brought in to their 
works that the enemy was advancing, and accordingly all were sunmioned 
immediately to arms. Their pickets were on the alert and soon heard a 
noise as of an oncoming foe. A sharp volley of musketry was discharged 
when a sudden rush was heard, and at once in wild disorder, forty-two fine 
beeves charged vigorously upon them. When their identity was discovered 
no additional resistance was ofiFered, but they were permitted to pass to the 
rear, where they were gathered in as convenient. 

Tuesday, 22d. A four days' storm terminated this morning, and dur- 
ing the forenoon the sun once more beamed upon us. In the afternoon the 
wind increased and the cold became more intense, rendering our situation 
very disagreeable at night. 

Thursday, 24th. Thanksgiving Day. All unnecessary work is dis- 
pensed with. On the 19th instant Col. Elisha Dyer, Jr., of Gov. James Y. 
Smith's staff, wrote Colonel Daniels that he had that day forwarded to 
him seven cases containing ninety cooked turkeys in charge of Maj. William 
Munroe, to be distributed through his command, the Fourth and Seventh 
Regiments, as a Thanksgiving donation from his friends and theirs at 
home. At seven p. m. a part of it arrived. We were told that part of it 
had been lost, stolen, or destroyed, and therefore we should be cut short. 
About three-quarters of a pound of chicken and turkey together, were 
distributed to each man. 

Friday, 25th. This evening more turkeys, chickens, and apples came to 
hand, with pies, cakes, puddings, confectionery, and cheese. Proceedings 
in camp reminded us of Christmas at home. 

Saturday, 26th. Sergt. William A. Bisbee was in charge of the picket, 
all commissioned oflScers being otherwise engaged. A North Carolina de- 
serter escaped to his post at night, though the rebels had a patrol out 
searching for him. They could be distinctly heard, but the clouds and dark- 



AROUND FBTEBSBUR6 TO FORT HELL. 229 

ness efiFectually screened him. To-day the colored division wbb transferred 
to Butler's command. 

Snnday, 27th. Boger A. Pryor, whilom brigadier-general in the rdbel 
army^ bnt at date major commanding two hundred and fifty cavalrymen at 
Lee's headquarters, was entrapped by Gapt. Hollis O. Dudley, of the 
Eleventh New Hampshire, brigade oflBcer of picket for the First Brigade 
of our division, through feigned acceptance of a proffered exchange of 
newspapers, in retaliation for the capture of Gapt. Henry 8. Burrage under 
similar circumstances on the 1st instant, and, in accordance with authority 
given, upon solicitation, by General Grant to General Parice who communi- 
cated his desire to his officers. So complete were the arrangements that 
had there been any resistance or even hesitation on the part of General 
Pryor his life would have been the penalty, for not only was the muezle of 
his captor's revolver pressed against his breast, his own right hand being 
securely grasped meanwhile by Gaptain Dudley's left, but ten of our best 
miarksman had been numbered off and directed to shoot under given circum- 
stances, the then unknown rebel, firing successively and commencing with 
number one. It is a singular coincidence that himself should prove to be 
the victim of that persistence against the consequences of which he had 
warned General Lee, but those who avail themselves thereof to suggest a 
doubt as to his loyalty to disloyalty, convict themselves thereby of ignorance 
or spite. 

Tuesday, 29th. Yesterday we were notified to prepare for a "Grand 
Seview," that was to take place this morning. Hence, there was great sur- 
prise when at eight o'clock we were ordered to pack everything except our 
tents, and be ready to march at a moment's notice. At ten a. m. a portion of 
Hancock's Second Corps came within our works, at eleven a. m. we 
started toward the right of the army lines. Our route lay along the mili- 
tary wagon road parallel to and not far from Grant's railroad. Soon 
after two p. m. a halt of three-quarters of an hour was miade for dinner in 
woods not far from the Jerusalem Plank Road. About sunset the brigade 
halted in the woods beside the railroad, a quarter of a mile or more east of 
the Cheevers house and the Plank Road. From this point a picket detail 
was sent to the very front to relieve the Second Corps men. The rebels 
saw them coming and promptly opened on them with shell, occasioning no 
little trouble in changing posts safely. After dark the Seventh started 
slowly to the left and at right angles to the military road, but whither they 
knew not, though wondering much. We moved over slightly ascending 
gi-ound until we reached the beginning of a covered way, a crooked ditch 
whose depth gradually increased as we neared the front until it protected 



230 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

a man completely to his shoulders. Its bottom wad soft, miry clay, and it 
had been corduroyed in the middle to support teams passing through. The 
spiteful picket-firing grew louder and more distinct. Singing, whizzing, 
piping bullets flew in every direction in midair. Halts were many and 
irregular. We zigzagged our way toward a working mortar battery that 
was receiving a return fire from its adversary, whose shells burst at vari- 
ous elevations, the fragments rattling down with great force. The road 
seemed unending, but at length we reached an angle where near by were 
trenches, on either side. We were conducted through one on the right which 
terminated at the foot of an upward slope that was hon^combed with 
openings, while the upper portion was surmounted with thickly scattered 
mounds. The order was now given to make ourselves comfortable for the 
night, and, in the darkness, we sought shelter in every comer and crevice. 
Some of the men had recognized the location, and soon all knew we had 
arrived at Fort Hell, but none would have believed we were to remain there 
four months and that it would be the last permanent camp of the r^^ent. 



. CHAPTER X. 

From Port Hell into Petersburg- 
NovBMBBB 30, 1864 — April 3, 1866. 

WEDNESDAY, 30th. All were astir at daylight inyeBtigatiDg. 
Qaarters were already assigned to each mess, when orders came 
to discontinue preparations for settlement there. The Seyenth 
then moyed to the south across the main covered way where Companies I, 
H, F, and K, found a common home in one long bombproof, A^ C, and E, 
were distributed among smaller ones grouped around the north end of the 
long one, while B, D, and O, were assigned a position west of the road 
directly adjacent to the heavy breastworks there, and were quartered in 
tents. The officers occupied a row of bombproofs in front of the long one, 
that constructed for the colonel being adjacent to the covered way, and, of 
course, on the right. The general appearance of their quarters was an ele^ 
vated dry land peninsula, so to speak, that extended from the principal 
batt^y front rearward entirely across the fort and several rods outside the 
rear breastworks, thence sloping considerably to the edge of a swamp. When 
the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania marched in and located itself on the opposite 
side of the fort where we had spent the night, we felt comfortable, for we 
knew we had tried and sturdy veterans as companions in peril. 

Dbcbmbbr, 1864. 

Thursday, 1st. Officially there were three separate positions in the 
one straggling enclosure popularly designated Fort Hell. The left battery 
also nearest the front had been named Fort Sedgwick. The next to the 
right was Battery 21, with four embrasures; it was also known as Fort 
Wright, and as Little Fort Hell. Beyond was Battery 20, occupied by 
twenty-four and sixty-four-pounder mortars. Between this and Fort Bice 
a third of a mile away, the line of works is vacant. Fort Davis is five hun- 
dred yards away on our left rear, and, save a battery of two rifled guns mid- 
way, the ground is as open as on our right The chief difiFerence between the 



232 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

two classes of works was that the former were always enclosed, the latter 
seldom. Two r^ments are encamped a third of a mile back from our 
flanks, but it looks as though the Johnnies would be more likely to reach 
their camp before they could form than that they would first reach the 
breastworks ready to oppose them. IPurthermjore, it should be noted in this 
connection that on the left of the fort, the ditch in places was only three 
feet wide; that there was a long break in the abatis along the Jerusalem 
Plank Road, and that in front, though the ditch wa£ more serviceable, it 
was still irregular and incomplete, while the chevaux-de-frise were shaky 
and slim. 

The bombproofs were irregularly constructed without square, plamb 
or level, and there was neither conformity in dimensions, nor in frontage, 
which last was toward nearly every point of the compass. Only in their 
covering did similarity exist Crossed layers of logs surmounted with an 
abundance of earth constituted the roof. Their general appearance, at 
least, in places, was suggestive of terraces. In the main bombproof between 
each two companies was a partition of old tent canvas suspended from the 
ceiling and extending below the bunks. Then there were company sub- 
divisions, but these were principally for regulating the temperature, though 
they rendered another service as required, the exclusion of unsavory odors 
from neglected overheated fry pans and of suffocating smoke from soggy fuel. 
In comfortable weather all were looped up and an unobstructed view of 
the entire interior thus afforded. For obvious reasons no attempt was 
made to lavish the resources of the upholsterer^s art upon our beds. Gen- 
erally silence reigned in these subterranean abodes, but occasionally it was 
broken by a roll call or by a furious cannonade. Then the men rushed out 
from undiscoverable almost inconceivable nooks in surprising numbers. 
After each fierce bombardment some of them had to be new-topped to render 
them inhabitable. 

Our first duty was exclusively in the engineering line, strengthening 
the ramparts, planting obstructions, cleaning out ditches and preparing 
generally for the winter. Consequently we furnished no pickets for several 
weeks, but meanwhile were interested in visiting that line, and soon dis- 
covered we would always be well entertained. The stripped trunk of a 
fruit tree had stood sometime midway the lines, but one day a Yank and a 
reb agreed jointly to fell the tree and divide it. They met at the tree, each 
chopped on his side, and when the tree fell cut off his share and returned 
whence he came. 

At dark to prevent an advance from either side the pickets commenced 
a steady, severe fire, and maintained it until daylight. It was customary 



FROM FORT HELL IKTO FSTERSBURG. 233 

for the opposing lines to warn the other when about to open. A Johnny 
would say, ''Billy, look out, now we uns got to shoot," or a Yank exclaim, 
'^Johnny, we have orders to commence firing now," and thereafter a mini- 
ature battle was waged until morning. Where the two lines were nearest, 
the sparks from the guns of the combatants well-nigh reached the faces of 
the foe. When the firing ceased, the rebs at once commenced searching for 
the bullets fired over to them during the night They said that for every 
three pounds of lead they secured and turned over to their quartermaster, 
they received a twenty-four hours' pass into the city of Petersburg. They 
even solicited our boys to pick up the bullets they had fired over and trade 
the old lead for plugs of tobacco. 

At three p. m. the mortar battery near the fort commenced a bombard- 
ment that continued for more than an hour. This is a new experience at so 
close proximity, and we watched with careful interest each of the enemy's 
shells as it came over. 

Friday, 2d. The batteries have a combat about every day. To-day 
ours attempted to compel a party of rebels to cease worthing on a certain 
fort. A Confederate battery tried to silence ours. The mortars on each side 
joined in. Some of our bombproofs have fared hard, but no one was injured. 
Battery 20 reopened with her mortars early in the evening, and tossed a 
shell over to our adversary every fifteen minutes during the night. Some- 
times two or three would be sent over together. The idea was to prevent 
any repair of his works. 

Saturday, 3d. One of the enemy's field guns opened on a squad of our 
men engaged in digging a ditch across the Jerusalem Plank Road, and the 
rifled field guns in Battery 21 (Little Fort Hell) were accurately and vigor 
ously served until it was silenced. The team we had secured to draw logs, 
however, placed itself meanwhile out of harm's way. 

Sunday, 4th. We distinctly heard the church bells peal forth their 
summons to the devout to attend their Sabbath worship. The rebel pickets 
remarked they could not spare time. 

Monday, 5th. The rebel batteries failed to reply to our fire to-day. 

Tuesday, 6th. Their field artillery opened on our retiring picket. 
Then ensued an exciting impetuous cannonade for more than an hour. 

Wednesday, 7th. Warren's Fifth Corps move to the left. It is so 
rainy we are compelled to remain inside until after four p. m. when the 
sun again shone out. 

Thursday, 8th. Continue work on the drawbridge. Half the regiment 
spend the forenoon cutting abatis, and the afternoon in planting it on the 
left of the fort crossing the road. 



234 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Friday, 9th. We were more than surprised to receive orders at four 
p. M. to pack up and be ready to niioye with tents and blankets. Then we 
were directed to take knapsacks. Finally, we were told to remain where 
we were. About the intended time for departure rain and sleet began to 
foil, rendering the ground very slippery. Heavy cannonading on the left 
all the afternoon. 

Saturday, 10th. Sleet and ice two inches deep this morning with some 
rain and mist. At one p. m. Edward Bowe and Daniel C. Smith, two de- 
serters from the One Hundred and Seventy-ninth New York were hung 
for desertion, just ea«t of Hancock Station. They were comparatively 
young men, had wilfully deserted to the enemy, and, a few weeks later, had 
been recognized among a lot of rebel prisoners captured by their own regi- 
ment. Great curiosity was exhibited to see the culprits, and to witness the 
grim event; so, on this occasion, the voluntary spectators outnumbered those 
compelled to witness the execution, though generally the reverse obtained. 
Moreover, death by hanging is considered by many less blood curdling and 
less revolting than by shooting. Two-thirds of our division formed a hollow 
square around a r^^larly constructed scafiFold. Then the condemned were 
brought forth fronn the guardhouse and escorted to their fate in the follow- 
ing manner: A band playing a dirge, two coffins borne by soldiers, the two 
culprits good-looking and apparently intelligent, with wrists handcuffed 
behind them, two chaplains, an infantry guard on either hand, and a cavalry 
guard surrounding all. One of the prisoners had a cousin walking by his 
side, and the two engaged in conversation as they passed along. The 
doomed were surprisingly cheerful as they were conducted around three 
sides of the hollow square, bearing smiling faces, laughing, chatting, and 
nodding to recognized comrades in the ranks. They ascended the steps 
of the scaffold without faltering, and one who had been puffing all the 
while at a cigar, continued smoking until it dropped as the rope tightened 
with a jerk around his neck. The army overcoats buttoned about their 
shoulders were not removed, but they could not conceal their violent, though 
ineffectual efforts to free their hands, the drawing up of the feet, the heav- 
ing of their chests, or the spasmodic tremors that frequently darted through 
their frames, but constantly becoming weaker and more infrequent until 
they finally ceased.. Companions in life, dishonor, treachery, and mis- 
fortune, they remain companions in leveled unknown graves. 

Sunday, 11th. At five p. m. yesterday, by a very circuitous route that 
the rebs might not know of our departure, we moved to Hancock Station, 
where four days' rations were issued. At seven p. m. started southerly, down 
the Jerusalem Plank Road toward Stony Greek some twenty miles away, and 




"FORT HELL." INTERIOR VIEW LOOKING NORTH ACROSS 
THE MAIN BATTERY FRONT— 1865. 




VIEW OF SAME LOCATION-JANUARY, 1901. MAN STANDING ON RUINS OF 

OFFICERS' BOMB-PROOF. 



FROM FORT HELL INTO PETERSBURG. 235 

reached there about five o'clock this morning. Tnmed into a cornfield to 
rest a short time, and there prepared breakf&st. This was onr first food 
since yesterday noon. It had rained nearly the entire night, which, of 
course, was very dark, and the mud wa« more than ankle deep, whether in the 
road or out At sunrise the storm held up a little, and, as there were no indi- 
cations of moving, large fires were built, and the men proceeded to dry 
their clothes, though thick mist still preyailed. Ere long they became more 
comfortable, and then sleep was desired. The cornfield was a bed of mud. 
At last, in a neighboring bam some com husks were found, and these were 
scattered upon the ground, affording a resting-place for a very few, but 
there was too much noise and excitement to permit of slumber. At ten 
A. H. were notified to hold ourselves in readiness to leave. Line was formed 
and we waited by the roadside until all the cavalry and artillery at hand 
had passed, when we filed in and started toward Petersburg. A halt was 
soon ordered in a piece of woods, and a line of pickets was thrown out on 
each side. This was at eleven a. m. At two p. m. they were relieved by a 
squad of cavalry, and half an hour later we started for camp marching 
uninterruptedly, and reaching there about nine p. m. Coffee was quickly 
made, and, after partaking of refreshment, all turned in for a good rest, 
having compassed forty miles in twenty-eight hours, including stops, and 
being the only regiment in the brigade that returned with the organization 
intact. But three or four of the men had left the ranks without leave, 
though the last part of the march was accomplished when the mud was 
frozen just enough to allow every man to break through. In two regiments 
the commanding officer returned without a single man; all had been scat- 
tered by the wayside. 

The object of this forced march was the relief of the Second and Fifth 
Corps, who, with a large cavalry force had gone on a raid over forty miles 
in extent, tearing up the track and destroying the Weldon Bailroad from 
the Greek to the North Carolina line, and clearing the country of all cattle, 
horses, mules, swine, and poultry. Even the negroes were brought away. 
But, meanwhile, the rebs had sent out a party which had reached and de- 
stroyed the pontoon bridge which the raiding party had left in position 
and then precipitately retired to their lines. We were accordingly sent 
out to lay a new bridge and protect it until their return. Recent Richmond 
papers say no general has caused Lee so much anxiety as Orant. 

Monday, 12th. The Seventh is a regiment of cripples; all are hobbling 
around with lame legs, stiff joints, blistered and raw feet. Some wear 
wrecks of shoes, some are in their stocking feet, nevertheless a detail went 
out for a supply of slashed trees and brought them* up to the rear of the 



236 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

fort. They will be planted along the front as an additional obstruction to 
any advance by the enemy upon our works. 

Just one solitary shot from their battery to-day set all our mortars 
going, but no response was elicited. During our absence the protectioii 
of the entire fort devolved entirely upon the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania- 
Tuesday, 13th. A detail from the Seventh relieved the pickets, and the 
guard of the Forty-eighth from our share of that duty, which they had as- 
sumed in our absence, howbeit our feet and l^s are still very sore and 
lame. To-night the slashed trees were carried to the front of the fort where 
the entire line of obstructions was repaired and was also extended to the left. 
The artillery has been quiet all day ; something unusual. 

Wednesday, 14th. Heavy cannonading in the direction of Dutch Gap. 
Storm indications are displaced by sunshine just prior to the close of the 
day. A supply of clothing was issued. 

The following was sent this day to the Providence Press, and appeared 
therein on the 23d instant : 

HEADqUABTBBS SbVBNTH R. I. VOLS. 
FOBT SbD&WIOK, NBAB PBTBBSBUBa, Va. 

December 14, 1864. 

To THB Ladibs of Rhodb Island : Belieraig in your wUlingness to contribute to 
the soldiers^ comforts and hoping for your assistance, I take the liberty of making this 
appeal. Winter has come upon us in our entrenchments and found us whoUy unprepared. 
Many of my men are suffering from want of mittens, an article which they cannot procure 
from the goTemment and which most of them are unable to buy. We are in one of the 
most exposed parts of the line and a large number of my command are on duty every 
night when the pickets are obliged to keep up a continual firing. Every gift of this kind 
has a yalue far above its intrinsic worth in proving to the soldier that he is remembered at 
home. While you are preparing for the Christmas holidays please remember us who cer- 
tainly have never disgraced our State, and think we have gained for her an honorable 
name. 

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Pbrot Daniels, BrvU Col. Comdg. 7th R. L V. 

Thursday, 15th. A quiet day. The artillerymen seem exhausted. Our 
foot gear was examined yesterday to ascertain if it would last us through 
a two hundred miles march. Emory J. Arnold returns from furlough. 

Friday, 16th. There was very severe mortar shelling this evening, rebel 
projectiles bursting in this fort almost every moment. Some of our bomb- 
proofs were blown in every direction. Seven men in the Forty-eighth were 
killed or wounded. We fortunately escaped all loss. There are present 
for duty 213 men and nineteen officers. 



PROM FORT HELL IKTO PETERSBURG. 237 

Saturday, 17th. Midforenoon our artillerists discovered the enemy 
had a working party out in front repairing his works, and opened fire on 
it, continuing more or less steadily until past one. But little damage was 
done, thongh the boys kept running and dodging all day. When we are 
on the watch for shells, and see them coming, we have ample time to get out 
of the way, but there is no dodging most of the flying pieces. Captain 
Joyce has returned from sick leave, though not yet fully recovered. 

Sunday, 18th. Colonel Daniels was confined to his bed yesterday with 
intermittent fever, and to-day has relinquished the command to Captain 
Joyce, at the same time applying for sick leave. Dr. Corey starts for home 
to-morrow on a fifteen days' leave, Dr. Douglass, of the Thirty-ninth New 
Jersey, filling his place meanwhila Dr. Harris is on General Potter's staff, 
and Dr. Sprague is in charge of the {HMst hospital at City Point. This after- 
noon the rebels fired on our working party and the experience of the previous 
day was repeated. Their mortar practice was the best yet. They dropped 
some eight-inch shells directly among our bombproofs, one striking within 
five feet of my bunk. On exploding they threw out great blocks of clay. 
A salute of one hundred guns was fired along our front line this morning. 
Each battery in its turn fired its allotted number of shots. 

Monday, 19th. Rebel deserters report that their leaders are construct- 
ing a mine under our fort, and, accordingly, every precaution has been taken 
to intercept it. In the front ditch several countershafts have been sunk, 
between which listening galleries have been excavated, none of which have 
as yet been reached by the enemy. There is always considerable water in 
them; sometimes they are full, a sure sign of safety. Because of all this 
the rumor is not generally credited, the more especially as similar reports 
have been frequently started, and, as yet, none have materialized. Soon 
after three o'clock a rebel mortar shell penetrates a bombproof ( ?) occu- 
pied by the Pennsylvanians ; at least one man was killed and three severely 
wounded. 

Tuesday, 20th. A supply of clothing is issued. 

Wednesday, 2l8t. In a heavy rainstorm Colonel Daniels and Captain 
Hunt start for home. 

Saturday, 24th. Sergt. Edward C. Cole returns to the regiment. 

Sunday, 25th. Heavy fog and some rain. We have nothing to eat 
but hard-tack and coffee, poor Christmas fare, but thank Heaven it is the 
last while in the service. During the past five days it has been surprisingly, 
monotonously quiet, but one hundred guns were fired this morning in 
honor of the capture of Savannah. 



238 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Wednesday, 28th. There is a fierce bombardment from three to six 
p. M.^ resulting in a loss of twelve killed and wounded to the Pennsylvanians. 
Quartermaster Samuel Fessenden bade the r^ment farewell and returned 
to his home. 

Saturday, 31st Stormed all night; rained and snowed all day. At 
six A. M. the rebs charged a portion of our picket line (but not on our 
front) carrying «^way sixteen men. Not satisfied with this they repeated 
the operation, when we captured about one hundred of them. Mustered for 
pay. 

There was a well in Fort Hell at the time of our arrival, but for their 
own accommodation the men dug another on the west side of the roadbed 
just at the rear of the fort (outside). When wood could be obtained these 
were walled up with timber, cob-house fashion; if not, headless barrels 
were used, placed on end above each other. The curbing was a sapling floor 
six feet square, slightly raised above the surface. The bucket was lowered 
through an opening in the centre. Surplus water splashed about, rendering 
the vicinity very muddy. To prevent its return the soil was banked around 
the platformi The wellsweep was generally rude and clumsy. 

Fort Damnation was a title indefinitely applied to the rebel works 
opposite Fort Hell, and included Bives' salient, and the works extending 
west from that toward the Jerusalem Flank Boad ; it did not include Fort 
Mahone as many suppose. 

January^ 1866. 

Sunday, 1st. There is a slight fleece of snow on the ground to remind 
us of the Happy New Year, else it would have scarcely been noted. Our 
breakfast consisted of hard-tack and coffee without milk; our dinner of 
stewed beans, hard-tack, and coffee; our supper of coffee and hard-tack. 
Sergeant Bisbee exclaims: "Where is the man that would not enlist for 
a second term of three years? He has stepped out, and so will I in about 
eight months if I live and am well." 

Monday, 2d. Early this morning a rebel officer and a private came 
over to our regimental picket. They assured us they belonged to the Twenty- 
second South Carolina, and were obliged to desert to our lines to escape 
death from starvation and freezing. They declare the war is about played 
out, though Jeff Davis and their generals tell them if they will only hold 
these works around Petersburg and Bichmond they will gain their inde- 
pendence and have peace from the United States. If, however, the Con- 
federacy does come to some terms of peace before Spring its soldiers will 



FROM FORT HELL INTO PETERSBURG. 239 

throw down their arms and come into onr lines en masse, as they are deter- 
mined not to stand another Spring campaign, bnt propose to return home 
in season to put seed into the ground, that they may have wherewith to 
live upon, whether independence is secured or not. The mortar batteries 
had another duel to-night, during which another Pennsylvania bombproof 
was knocked to pieces killing two men and wounding as many more. 

Tuesday, 3d. An artillery fight for more than an hour without damage 
to us. 

Wednesday, 4th. A snowstorm instead of a battle. 

Friday, 6th. A member of the One Hundred and Seventy-ninth New 
York was hung for desertion. He gave his name as Waterman Thornton, 
which was probably incorrect, as he acknowledged enlisting, receiving 
bounty and deserting fourteen times. He was scarcely thirty years of age, 
and was destitute of that nerve that had carried his predecessors creditably 
through the last trying ordeal. During one of the frequent expeditions 
sent to the vicinity of Beams Station, some of our men discovered near there 
a deserter living in comfortable retirement. But for the unlawful practices 
he pursued in procuring provisions from the surrounding country, and con- 
tinuing to wear a blue uniform, he might have escaped the scrutiny of our 
raiders and remained unmolested. As he failed to give a satisfactory ac- 
count of himself he was brought back and his identity clearly established. 

Monday, 9th. It has been raining more or less steadily since Thurs- 
day evening. The result is the bombproofs are more or less flooded, their 
covering being thoroughly soaked, and, dropping down between the logs, 
so the men are engaged day and night in bailing, using the cook's coffee 
kettles for water-pails, and the mess-pans for dippers. I am busy making 
lead toy mortars of rebel bullets for the officers to send as souvenirs to 
their friends. Qeorge A. Spencer, an engraver by trade, does the ornamenta- 
tion. Have just completed one fqr Captain Manchester containing 300 
buHctf^, while the bed consists of 120 more. Its weight is about twenty-five 
pounds. The captain intends sending it to Governor Smith. Our supply 
of raw material is prui-tically inexhaustible, for when the ground is frozen 
the bullets simply roll down the various slopes of our works ai^d into the 
trenches at our very feet. 

Tuesday, 10th. The rifle pits and picket trench of both Yanks and reba 
are completely flooded. The latter were compelled for quite a distance on 
our right to retire to higher ground in their rear where they were fully 
exx)oged to our fire, but all hostilities were suspended because of the severity 
of the elements. 



240 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Wednesday, 11th. Some of the bombproofs have been entirely wrecked. 
Other shaky ones have been pnHed down and better ones are in process of 
construction. The sun shone brightly this morning and faces are more 
cheerful for things are drying up, still we are so deep below sunshine our 
quarters will be damp for a long time. We cannot build fires to hasten 
matters until the fireplaces have dried somewhat. For many days subse- 
quently the mud was ankle deep in our abodes. 

Thursday, 12th. Still at work rebuilding our quarters. A detail of 
thirty men was sent out to weave gabions. At night the regiment was 
relieved from picket duty that its attention may be devoted to engineering 
duty exclusively. 

Monday, 16th. Still at work on gabions. There is great excitement on 
the lines concerning the peace question. It is rumored commissioners have 
been sent to n^otiate therefor. To-day the Confederate pickets shouted 
across to our pickets: ''This Rebellion is played out; there will be no more 
fighting; there will be glorious news within ten days." The following letter 
which explains itself was mailed yesterday : 

HSADqUABTBBS OF THB SEVENTH R. I. V. 

FoBT Sbdowiok, Va., Jan. 16, 1865. 

To THE EnrroB of the Pbebs : Permit me through the medium of your valuable 
journal to acknowledge the receipt of six hundred and fifty pairs of gloves and mittens, 
contributed as I understand, by the patriotic ladies of Rhode Island, for the use of the 
enlisted men of the Seventh and Fourth Rhode Island Volunteers, and in their behalf to 
cordially thank them for their generous and timely gift 

I have the honor to be respectfully your obedient servant, 

Wm. H. Jotoe, Copt. Camdg. 7th and 4th B. I, V. 

Tuesday, 17th. A salute of one hundred guns was fired in honor of 
the capture of Fort Fisher, near Wilmington, N. C. 

Thursday, 19th. Company E which hitherto has remained in camp 
accompanied the gabion detail this morning. It has to go about two miles, 
where each corporal and private makes one gabion which constitutes his 
day's work. Each company squad is in charge of a sergeant, who is re- 
quired to see every subordinate completes one before returning to camp. 
To-day they were back in time for dinner. 

Saturday, 21st. Very stormy. A heavy rain freezing on the ground 
coats it with ice. The men remain quiet in camp. 

Tuesday, 24th. Last night a very heavy cannonading was heard on 
our right toward the Appomattox River. It commenced about seven p. m. 
and continued until ten o'clock this forenoon. We subsequently learned it 




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FROM FORT HELL INTO PETERSBURG. 241 

was an attempt of the rebel fleet to break through ours at Bermuda Hundred. 
What was left after the failure returned to Richmond. 

Thursday, 26th. Becent rebel deserters emphatically affirm a nearly 
completed mine exists under our fort and it is almost ready f» explosion. 

Sunday, 29th. Remained in camp. Inspection, the first since enter- 
ing the fort One of our boys invited a reb to come out on neutral ground 
and have a free fight. The challenge was accepted. It was agreed that 
none should leave the pits but the two combatants. Th^ were to meet 
half-way and fight it out alone. The reb whipped the Tank, when each re- 
turned to their respective sides amid loud and prolonged cheers from the 
ret)s* 

Monday, 30th. Our first dress parade. The r^mental line was formed 
amid the pine stumps just outside the breastworks, its right resting on the 
Jerusalem Plank Road, its left approximating the rear covered way. As 
the ground was rolling, the colors occupied a commanding position. 

Tuesday, 31st. First battalion inspection since we to<* up our abode 
hare. Messrs. A. H. Stephens, James A. Campbell, and R. M. T. Hunter, 
were received through our lines at the Baxter Road on their way to Fortress 
Monroe to meet President Lincoln and Secretary Seward as arranged by 
Frank P. Blair, Sr. As they parted from General Qrant, one of them as- 
sured him he was perfectly willing that he and Qeneral Lee should settle 
the difficulty. Qeneral Qrant replied that this was just what he proposed 
to do the approaching Spring or Summer. The pickets told us we should 
hear good news from these commissioners in a few days; they were bound 
to make some terms for peace. 

February^ 1865. 

Wednesday, 1st. The month opens warm and pleasant. The demand 
for gabions continues. Colonel Daniels returned this morning. He found 
a change as far as firing is concerned as not a shot has been fired here in 
three weeks, jokes being found a good substitute for bullets. The pickets 
talk together, and sing for each other, and get along very peaceably. We 
have four hundred men in camp. The consolidation of the two regiments 
is not quiet complete, but most of the papers have been made out. The total 
strength of the r^ment present and absent is as follows: Oompany A, 
47; B, 86; C, 86; D, 86; E, 46; F, 41; Q, 90; H, 84; I, 85; K, 46. Field and 
staff, 12. Total, 709. This evening soon after dark the rebel pickets com- 
menced to shout and cheer. Immediately our boys engaged in a similar 
demonstration. The vociferations were immense. What started this hur- 

16 



242 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

rah we never knew, bnt it ended in fnn. It extended the entire length of 
the line, and, of course, snch a noise was never heard here before or since. 
It alarmed headquarter officers, who sent orders to each of the regiments 
to load their mnskets in case of need. 

Thursday, 2d. lEarly this morning all were called out to stand at the 
breastworks until daylight. We remained in the fort all day. A large 
detail has been engaged in repairing and strengthening it At four p. m. 
we were ordered to take all tools to division headquarters and turn them 
in. To-night we furnish a picket and a guard detail, the first pickets for a 
long time. They relieved men from the Thirty-ninth New York. 

Lieut. Henry Knox, of the First Connecticut Heavy Artillery, in charge 
of the mortars at Battery 20, once visited the picket line. He was recog- 
nized as an artillery officer by a Ck)nfederate major, who told him if he 
knew when he was well off he would keep away from the picket line. 

Friday, 3d. The repairing and improving of the breastworks in this 
vicinity continues. 

Sunday, 5th. Last night there was an artillery fight near the Appo- 
mattox from seven o'clock until eleven. It was believed an attack had been 
made upon us, for both infantry and artillery were kept at the very front 
until after midnight. Regimental inspection at ten a. m. Four days' rations 
and sixty rounds of ammunition were issued. Adjt Henry J. Spooner, of 
the Fourth, was mustered out and started for home as the Seventh has a 
permanent adjutant though he be a prisoner of war. An additional detail 
for picket was sent out to-day ; our r^ment and the Forty-eighth Pennsyl- 
vania are performing that duty for the 'entire brigade. We are not grum- 
bling, we prefer it to marching. Between sundown and dark we heard v^rj 
severe cannonading on the extreme left. It seemed a long way off, ap- 
parently eight or ten miles, and yet it was very distinct. The firing waa 
very rapid for fully an hour. The general impression was that a charge 
was being made (Hatchers Bun). 

Monday, 6th. At daybreak this morning our pickets discovered a 
force of rebels drawn up in line of battle just in the rear of Fort Damna- 
tion (Bives' salient). They remained in position until nearly sunrise 
when they moved off to their right (our left). They were evidently there 
to make an attack on our front, or else they expected one. At intervals 
during the day there has been heavy cannonading at a distance. A strict 
watch is to be maintained all night for fear of an attack. 

Tuesday, 7th. The pickets had a splendid night up to four a. m., when 
the sky became cloudy. At five a. m. snow and hail b^an to fall ; later the 
former turned to rain, and, with the latter, continued throughout the day. 



FROM FOBT HELL INTO PSTEBSBURG. 243 

At one p. M. a rapid and heavy cannonade opened upon oar left, and not 
very distant. At intervals sharp musketry oonld be heard. There were 
three or four trials of this sort daring the afternoon and evening. This 
has been a bad day for a battle. The woanded mast have suffered greatly, 
even perished on the field, if not immediately brought away. It is reported 
General Warren is killed. 

Wednesday, 8th. Cleared off cold last night and remained so to-day. 
Qeneral Warren was not killed, but severely woanded. It is said our troops 
held all they gained yesterday. 

Thursday, 9th. It is officially reported that the rebels made three 
charges on Forts Welsh and Fisher near the Pegram house on the after- 
noon of the 7th. They were desperate in character and only to be repulsed 
with great slaughter, but our boys were ready for them and laid them out 
in windrows. It should be remembered we built Fort Fisher while camping 
there in October. Lieutenant Moore is acting adjutant; Captain Wilbur 
and Lieutenant Bolles are on court-martial duty. 

Friday, 10th. A member of a Maine r^ment, so reported, was 
shot to death just beyond Hancock's Station, and beside the scaffold where 
the hangings previously mentioned took place. Near it had been placed 
a pile of logs banked with earth to prevent the bullets from flying into the 
camp beyond. He had been living in a cave five or six miles to the rear, 
where he was discovered with two barrels of whisky and provisions, suffi- 
cient for three years, that he had stolen from the United States commissary. 
During his trial he was very saucy to the officers, and, for this reason, no 
doubt, the court-martial gave him the extreme sentence. Had he deported 
himself with propriety he would have received a milder punishment. The 
charges preferred were straggling six months in the rear, stealing govern- 
ment commissary stores, and using insulting language to his superior 
officers. He was a small, middle-aged man, and, as it was very muddy, he 
skipped around or over the puddles as if years of life were before him, in- 
stead of less than fifteen minutes. The arrangemients and ceremonies were 
essentially such as have been already described. . 

Had the war lasted a year or two longer, and the large bounties con- 
tinued to increase as they probably would, this buying of men like cattle, 
would have created so much dishonesty and rascality in and out of the 
service, that the very foundations of military life and discipline would have 
been honeycombed, and it would have required one sentinel to keep each 
new soldier at the front, for desertions were becoming very prevalent among 
new troops all through our armies in 1865. 



244 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

This observation by the author is important in that it nnqnestionably 
indicates the opinion of those who rallied to the defense of the Union in 
the early days of the straggle, when merely nominal bounties were prof- 
fered. Still, the honor of the sixty-two men who went forth to fill up the 
depleted ranks of the Seventh, and were left in the field when the original 
members returned to their homes, not less than the accuracy of history, 
demands that certain other statements should be made in connection there- 
with. Service at the United States Draft Bendezvous, popularly known 
as the Conscript Camip at Grapevine Point, Pair Haven, now in New Haven, 
Conn., from January 13th, to March 13th, when he sailed with a company 
of recruits whose organization he largely controlled for City Point, and the 
Second Rhode Island, then in the trenches before Petersburg, afforded the 
editor special opportunity for knowing the character of re-enforcements 
sent the Army of the Potomac during the last year of the war. He dis- 
tinctly remembers meeting at that time Sergt. Esek Greene, of Company E, 
who for a long period admirably discharged the peculiar responsibilities 
inseparable from duty at such a post. Though at this particular period 
there was an excess of toughs within its walls, the absolute as well as com- 
parative number was few. The men who went then to the front may be 
classified as follows: First, conscripts, usually men with families or other 
responsibilities which had deterred them from enlisting; second, young men 
from sixteen to twenty-one who had but just attained their development 
or their independence; third, discharged soldiers who either enlisted anew 
or acted as substitutes; fourth, foreigners, soldiers of fortune who were 
attracted by high bounties; fifth, a comparative handful usually from the 
slums of our cities and especially from New York, who, by means of ficti- 
tious names and cunning disguises, established a business termed '^leaping 
the bounty," and followed it as a r^ular profession. These alone gave 
trouble to military officials alike at home and in the field. Had they been 
dealt with more summarily, — had every flagrant dereliction of duty 
whether by plain blouse or starred (and instances of the former were no 
more numerous proportionately than of the latter) , been followed by a per- 
emptory mandate to kneel on one's coffin, the nation in many ways would 
have beein unmeasurably benefited. As it was, even to this day men are 
endeavoring by legislative enactment to dignify records of which they are 
ashamed, and the history of the Spanish-American War affords notable 
proofs that some who served in that greater war failed to learn one of its 
important lessons, that the discredit of unperformed duty cannot be re- 
moved by vote of Congress. 

Monday, 13th. Desertions from the rebel lines to the Union works are 



FBOM FORT HELL INTO PSTBBSBURG. 245 

very prevalent. At night our pickets would toss over printed oironlars 
informing those inclined to leave that they would be paid the regulation 
price for arms, equipments, and horses brought with them, that they would 
be furnished with free transportation to any part of the United States, or, 
if they preferred, would be provided with employment. 

HSADqUABTSBS NiHTH ABICT CoBPS, 

Feb. 17, 1806. 

Col. Pbbgt Dakibls, Camdg. 7th B, L VoU, 

CoiiONXL : A thousand thanks for the miniature mortar made from rebel bullets 
picked up around Fort Sedgvrick. I prize it highly and shall preserve it careluUy as a 
memento of the war, one that will always recall pleasant reminiscences of the gallant 
officers and men of my command. The expression of respect and confidence contained in 
your letter is most gratifying, and I assure you that I shaU always endeayor to discharge 
my duty so as to recelTe the respect and confidence of my command. This present is en** 
hanced in value by coming from one who has so distinguished himself in the war as to 
win the approbation of his superiors and special commendation of the President 

Very truly your friend and senrant, 

Jno. G. Pabkb, Mqj. OenL 

Saturday, 18th. Bergt. William A. Bisbee left at five a. m. tor home on 
a furlough for fifteen days. 

Tuesday, 21st. Heavy cannonading at Fort Morton and vioinity. A 
salute of one hundred shotted guns was fired by the front line of forts in 
honor of the occupation of Charleston, 8. G. 

Wednesday, 22d. «A salute of one hundred guns was fired in commemo- 
ration of Washington's Birthday. Dress parade was held for the second 
and last time a little past three p. m. Cautionary instructions are received 
against a surprise by the enemy. We were on the alert all night, but the 
expected did not happen. 

Thursday, 23d. A heavy wind storm. Seven rebel deserters come into 
our picket posts and twenty-eight into the brigade line. They report their 
authorities are sending a great deal of material to their rear. 

Friday, 24th. One hundred guns were fired at four p. m. in honor of 
the capture of Wilmington, N. C. The rebels seem sullen about their re- 
cent defeats, scarcely replying when our pickets shout to them. They are 
cautioned against being surprised. 

Saturday, 25th. The opposing mortar batteries engaged in conflict 
from five p. m. until after dark. The rebel fire was very wild, the only ob- 
ject seemed to be to remind us they were there or at least not asleep. 



246 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Lieut. William W. Webb returns. Last night twenty deserters oame into 
our brigade picket line, six from the Twenty-sixth South Carolina entering 
our posts. 

Sunday, 26th. One hundred and thirty-six deserters came into the 
lines of the Army of the Potomac last night. 

March^ 1865. 

Thursday, 2d. This evening the pickets fired a sudden and unusually 
heavy volley. Instantly the men poured forth from the bombproofs and 
rushed to the breastworks to stand under arms until the matter had been 
investigated. 

Friday, 3d. Colonel Daniels records that ^^one lone deserter came in 
and was brought to my tent about daylight. I was abed and sent him to 
'headquarters immediately." The enemy has taken such additional precau- 
tions to guard their pickets that desertions have become less frequent. 

Sunday, 5th. Two hundred men are at work at the left of the fort 
making a pathway to the front. A space is cleared through the obstruc- 
tions. 

Monday, 6th. There are many rumors about moving, an assault, and 
an extension of the lines to the left. The paymaster pleasantly surprised 
us with an official visit. A sudden startling volley at the picket line 
about seven o'clock sent the men flying with muskets and equipments to the 
breastworks. After a long wait it was learned the pickets .had been firing 
at wild geese. 

Tuesday, 7th. The Forty-eighth Pennsylvania removed from the fort, 
and its place was taken by the Thirty-fifth Massachusetts. The quarter- 
master distributes clothing. 

Saturday, 11th. Two ladies accompanied by a number of officers rode 
into the fort, dismounted, and, to the surprise of the soldiers, passed 
through, out to, and along the picket line. They were friends of the ad- 
jutant-general of Rhode Island, Edward C. Mauran. 

Sunday, 12th. Inspection by General Curtin, who complimented us 
on our neatness and soldierly appearance. Good news from Sherman. 

Monday, 13th. Violent mortar attack of an hour's duration at Port 
Morton. There was a beautiful display of white smoke wreaths. Quite a 
number of rebel deserters came over to our pickets. It was not sufficiently 
dark so they were fired on by their own men. This caused an alarm in 
the fort, and men rallied at the breastworks, but not until the affair was 
practically over. It was a great scare, though unintentional. 




SergU Joseph Rowe. 
Corp. Isaac Blanchard. 
SergL Albert L. Smith. 
Corp. A. J. Whitcomb. 



Sergt. Wm. A. BUbee. Corp. Samuel E. Rice. 

Sergt. Wm. H. Barstow. Corp. Daniel B. Sherman. 

Sergt. Wilfred P. Taylor. Wm. P. Hopkins. 

Com.-Sergt. Steadman Clark. Sei^t. Edward C Cole. 



Sergt. Winfd. S. KUton. 
Benj. S. Hunt. 
Preston B. Richmond. 
Col.-Sergt. J. B. StoothofiF. 



PROM FORT HELL INTO PETERSBURG. 247 

Tuefiday, 14th. The rebel force in our front has been changed. Men 
ignorant of the established usages have been placed there. We suspect it 
was done because of the familiarity of old times with our pickets and their 
great loss by desertion. While two teams were passing to the rear up the 
Plank Boad,the rebels hurled two shots at them from a field piece, but missed 
them. No time was lost, however, in gaining cover. The men are discussing 
the indications of early, active operations. Captain Sawyer, brigade in- 
spector, paid an oflScial visit. He was as gratified thereat as was his com- 
mander. 

Wednesday, 15th. Raiment ordered to be ready to move at ten minutes' 
notice. All sutlers are ordered within the defenses of city Point; also extra 
baggage belonging to officers. At one time the pickets fired rapidly for a few 
moments bringing all hands to the breastwork. It was said the enemy 
tried to advance on our left and reoccupy some vacant pits between the 
lines, whence they had been driven on the night of Sept. 9, 1864. The 
briskness and accuracy of our fire repulsed them, however. 

Monday, 20th. Orders had been issued for a dress parade, but just 
before five the enemy's mortars open a furious fire, which was maintained 
until half-past six, thus indefinitely postponing the ceremony. One burst 
just as it struck the top of Captain Wilbur's bombproof. A stool beside 
the door was knocked into quarters; a New Y6rk Herald in Lieutenant 
Costello's hand was torn to pieces, and himself slightly wounded in arm 
and cheek, while a fragment the size of an apple seed lodged in Major 
Jenks's shoulder, whence it was removed by Colonel Daniels. Earlier in the 
day the rebels commenced a little tai^et practice, either for amusement, or 
for spite, with a sixty-four-pounder columbiad and a three-inch gun, firing 
at the tents composing brigade headquarters, at teams on the Plank Boad, 
at regiments drilling and at fatigue details working on the return line of 
works, while occasionally, to restrain undue curiosity as to whither the 
projectiles were sent they would throw a few rounds of canister in our 
direction. 

Tuesday, 21st. It seems the firing yesterday was chiefly directed at 
the Avery House, corps headquarters. General Parke remarked to-day 
that if they opened on him again he should open on the city. Deserters 
reported this evening that a body of sharpshooters had been detailed 
to attack, and, if possible, gobble up a portion of our picket line 
to-night, so an additional detail was sent out and the number of posts on 
the fort front increased from five (two being on the left, and three on the 
right of the road) to twelve. The camp officer of the day received special 
instructions, and, finally, the picket line was ordered to maintain an in- 



248 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

crease of fire during the entire night. Possibly because of this no attack 
was made. Twenty-five was the total number of deserters received on 
our division front. A large fatigue party of the Seventh was out placing 
abatis between Forts Bedgwick and Davis, when the rebels opened on them 
with field pieces, but they were promptly silenced by guns in Fort Davis 
and Battery 22. "Every day we are receiving good news from General 
Bherman's army, also from General Sheridan in the Valley. At the 
present time the situation is looking rather gloomy for Johnny Beb, and 
very bright for the Union Army. All signs indicate a very speedy over- 
turn of this Rebellion." (Sergeant Bisbee's journal.) 

Thursday, 23d. A large fire within the enemy's main line and on our 
left occasioned considerable excitement this afternoon. The wind is hi^ 
and blows the smoke directly toward us, so it is impossible to determine 
its exact nature and location. The boys on picket, however, ere long 
commenced pretentiously and in loud voices to give orders after the manner 
of fire laddies when struggling with the fiercest conflagrations. It was sub- 
sequently ascertained to be the home of Captain Banks, of the Twelfth 
Virginia, who had been killed in October, 1864, at Hatcher's Bun, and only 
a mile away. There are also other fires in the enemy's forts and in their 
rear. We can see men running to and fro about them, which suggests the 
thought that perhaps the rebs are preparing to evacuate Petersburg. 

Friday, 24th. Another party including ladies, visited the fort to-day, 
but it was not noted whether they ventured to the picket line or not. We 
are enjoying a spell of fine weather which the oflScers improve by ball- 
playing on the stumpy slope in rear of the fort. One day the rebs got 
their range, and, with a couple of shots, seriously impaired the popularity 
of the game. The men lie around as convenient, basking in the sunshine 
and watching fleecy clouds as they float across the etheriaJ blue. 

Saturday, 26th. Sergeant Bisbee who was on picket last night reports 
that everything was quiet up to midnight, when the brigade officer of the 
day informed the guard that the rebels were to make an attack on this 
front before daylight, and warned them to be on the alert against any pos- 
sible surprise. Everything had been so quiet during the evening, the caution 
seemied a bit queer, but his instructions were carried out, and the keenest 
vigilance maintained. At 3.46 a. m. they were somewhat startled to hear 
the drums beat the reveille, and the assembly in two hostile camps a full 
hour and a quarter earlier than usual, and they began to place some con- 
fidence in the monition. Accordingly, every nerve was stretched to its 
utmost tension in the endeavor to ascertain what was going on across the 
lines. At 4.30 a. m. to the right and left all along the line they heard the 



PROM FORT HKLL INTO PETERSBURG. 249 

calls repeated. As it had been very dark, firing had been maintained oon- 
tinnonsly to prevent the rebels from creeping closely to them, bnt after 
that it was more vigorous, one-quarter of the men firing steadily. At 4.45 
very heavy picket firing was heard to onr right in the vicinity of, or directly 
beyond the old crater. This, however, subsided in a few moments. During 
the next fifteen minutes some of the men discovered what they supposed 
was a line of battle advancing down across the field upon themi^ and also 
that the usual picket fires were not burning. Their own fires were at 
once extinguished, all ammunition prepared for rapid loading, and every- 
one was on the qui vive. But no enemy came. At 4.56 two signal guns were 
heard on the right in the vicinity of the picket firing of ten minutes before. 
Three minutes later the batteries opened a heavy fire, and crashing of mus- 
ketry was intermingled. This continued for a few minutes, and then nearly 
ceased, but was quickly resumed, when it became terrific. Now was heard 
the unmistakable sounds of a fierce charge, the peculiar cheering, and the 
genuine rebel yell, all of which was more or less broken by the irregular 
roar of the heavy cannonade. It was evident the Johnnies had made an 
attack on our lines, but the pickets believed the contest was around Fort 
Morton. In the darkness it seemed nearer to them than it really was. Con- 
sequently, they held themselves in readiness for any emergency on their 
own front. At 5.15 they ceased firing, as it was light enough for them to 
obtain a good view of their surroundings for quite a distance, even within 
the enemy's lines where not a reb was to be seen, except their pickets, and 
but few of them. These, straightway, mounted to the top of their pits and 
stretched their necks in the attempt to discover what was going on. Our 
pickets simultaneously gave over all thought of an attack from them, and 
climbed their works for a similar purpose. The blazing of the cannon and 
the flashing of the musketry were clearly discernible through the cloudy 
smoke, but the combatants themselves were invisible. The heavens were 
filled with shells, some bursting midair, showering a deluge of death deal- 
ing fragments, others exploding only as they fell, hurling, tearing, scatter- 
ing everything around. Not until eight a. m. when the brigade officer came 
down the line did the picket know which was the attacking party. He 
first told them that the rebels had made an attack on Fort Steadman and 
were being repulsed. It was nearly nine a. m. before the conflict ceased, at 
the end of four hours of desperate fighting. 

Soon after three p. m. their attention was turned to the left by heavy 
cannonading in that quarter. It was said to be in the vicinity of Fort 
Fisher. Subsequently it was reported a section of the rebel line near there 
had been captured, including Fort Lee, with 200 prisoners, and a number 



250 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

of pieces of artillery. Thus, on both flanks, the rebels lose to-day, while 
the Spring cam(paign may be considered as fairly opened. Sergeant Bisbee 
and his detail were not relieved nntil fonr p. m. 

Bnt what was the experience of the regiment itself in the early morn- 
ing? Colonel Daniels awoke as nsnal about 4.30 a. m.^ and heard on our 
right firing that seemed heavier than common. Accordingly, he directed 
the regimental line to be formed immediately. Abont this time a single 
piece of artillery joined in and the musketry grew heavier. We assumed 
it was more than picket firing. Then more artillery opened and we heard 
shouts, battle cries, and cheers. For awhile now the conflict subsided, and 
we flattered ourselves there had been no serious disturbance, but ere long 
we discovered our mistake, for again the firing increased, it grew to volleys, 
and the familiar rebel yell, intermingled with loud cannon peals, resounded 
up the valley. As the gray streaks of early dawn brightened into day, the 
conflict became more and more intense, until at six o'clock it was terribly 
severa Down beyond the Mine we could see the flashes of the heavy guns 
cutting through clouds of smoke and brilliant coruscations of musketry. 
Fort Morton joined the bombardment with its ten-inch mortars and thirty- 
pounder rifles. Fort Avery following as soon as it was light enough to dis- 
cern where to shoot, while threatening forts opposite our right contributed 
their share to the din and to the spectacle. Even the little saucy three- 
inch guns in Fort Mahone let us in Fort Hell have two or three shots as 
we stood on the parapet anxiously watching the scene of strife, and then as 
they discerned troops in our rear hurrying to the battlefield they tossed 
their shells at them. It was barely daylight when we learned the rebels 
held Fort Steadman and Battery No. 15 ; hence the next three hours passed 
most anxiously, but, as then the artillery fire rather suddenly slackened 
and ceased, and the mists and smoke lifted, and the sky brightened, we 
felt our works had been recaptured and our lines were once more secure. 
A little later official news confirmed the fact and told of the capture of 
nearly 2,000 prisoners. Then our faces brightened, our feelings could no 
longer be suppressed, and three rousing cheers were given to weigh down 
any possible rebel exultation and to glory even in disaster. 

During the entire engagement the signal corps men were exceedingly 
active. The movements of their torches in the darkness and of their flags in 
the light, divided our attention with the noisier and more tragic spectacle 
but little farther removed. 

Late in the day some of our number visited the scene of conflict. First 
was Fort Haskell. Its ground was slimy with blood and thickly strewn with 
the debris of battle. Here was to be found, slightly wounded in the foot. 



FROM FORT HELL INTO PETERSBURG. 251 

the gallant little Dutch Lientenant Tnerk, who was stationed with ns in 
Fort Sedgwick last December^ bnt who now haa been doing splendid execu- 
tion with his twelve-pounder Napoleons, the best mowing machine ever 
invented. Passing now along the line of breastworks, through a crowd of 
troops, bnt keeping low, as the sharpshooters were very watchful, and at 
close range (only a ravine separated the regular lines part of the way), the 
first dead Johnny was observed very near Fort Haskell, and from there to 
far beyond Fort Steadman they were strewn as they fell, on parapet or in 
ditch, through swamp or about the batteries, and the assaulted camps. 
After the rebels had penetrated our lines, they started to entrench them- 
selves on the road running back from the works, and there lay the cast-off 
knapsacks, clothing, and accoutrements, literally mixed with the ghastly 
dead and groaning wounded (for not yet could relief be afforded these), 
clearly indicating the site of the hardest fighting. Many of the dead were 
00 disfigured their nearest friends could not have recc^nized them, while 
over the slopes of the various works were scattered fragments of the com- 
batants, at such short range were shots exchanged. 

The garrison of Fort Steadman had been completely surprised. The 
manner thereof was currently reported to be as follows : The rebel brigade 
olBcer of the day came into our picket line and surrendered himself. He 
said a brigade was coming over presently to surrender themselves, that he 
was sent in advance to notify our pickets of their intentions, and he hoped 
they would not fire on them so as to cause an alarm. The men would bring 
their arms and equipments to secure the pay offered, by General Grant. A 
few ctvne with the officer, surrendered themselves and gave up their equip- 
ments. In this manner our pickets were thrown off their guard. Further- 
more, none of the First Division men were warned of the expected attack 
that should be carefully watched for and promptly met, previous deserters 
having invariably reported it was to be made in front of Fort Sedgwick. A 
little later the brigade was seen approaching as had been stated with colors 
borne in a drooping position, and, accordingly it gained our picket line 
without receiving a single shot. Our men were compelled to surrender 
quietly, and were sent at once to the rebel rear under guard as prisoners 
of war. The Johnnies, meanwhile, steadily advanced, knocking a pathway 
through the obstructions and rushed over the works. Before any alarm 
could be given, they were inside Fort Steadman, butchering our troops in 
cold blood, running their bayonets through them even while lying in their 
bunks. But this had not continued many moments when the Unionists dis- 
covered their critical situation, and, each grabbing his musket, equipments, 
shoes, and hat, rushed for the rear to save his life. When out of immediate 



252 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAIH) INFANTRY. 

daJiger, however, they promptly formed line behind such protection as they 
fonnd. Fort Haskell, next west, fired two signal guns that instantly aroused 
that entire isection of our lines, the troops responding immediately on the 
double-quick. The rebs meanwhile had been turning the guns in Fort 
Steadman upon our men, and commenced firing as quickly as possible. Just 
now, however, a considerable number of the half-starved Johnnies became 
over enthusiastic, fell into disorder and commenced plundering our camps, 
forgetful of the one great purpose of their assault, to gain as much terri- 
tory and as strong a position as practicable in the least possible time. 
While they were wasting these precious moments, they were rapidly im- 
proved by our men who took a position from which they could not be driven. 
The reserve batteries were ordered to the hills in the rear, and from their 
pieces, as well as from those in adjacent works, some forty or more, a 
rapid fire was hurled at the encooped graybacks. They also covered well 
the space between the regular lines, so that when a charge was made by 
the bluecoats, simultaneously from three sides, naught was left for the 
vainglorious reb but to surrender at discretion. However, the ruse was 
cleverly planned and well executed. It was rendered possible by Grant's 
orders. The only wonder is that it had not been attempted before, and with 
greater force. During the afternoon a flag of truce was granted to allow 
the Johnnies to receive back their dead. 

Bunday, 26th. Bouted out at three a. m. and stood at the breastworks 
until daylight. The rebel artillery attempted to destroy the Union signal 
station in Fort Davis, but did not fire with sufficient accuracy. 

Monday, 27th. Considerable cannonading in the vicinity of Fort Mor- 
ton. An effort was made to dislodge the signal station at the Avwy house, 
but it was as ineffective as yesterday's labor. About the middle of March 
our pickets received explicit instructions to be very careful about firing on 
or opposing any person who attempted singly to enter our lines at any point. 
This afternoon during the excitement occasioned by a sudden, violent 
shower, a man cleared the rebel line at one leap and ran like a deer safely 
into a post occupied by men from the Thirty-fifth Massachusetts. He was 
clad in gray, but decorated all over with patches of colored flannel in 
imitation of that flag. He introduced himself as one of Sheridan's scouts 
and was at once escorted to Colonel Carruth's headquarters in the fort. 
Neither he nor his officers would believe he was a Yankee until he had taken 
the heel off one of his boots, and, taking thence a pass, signed by Sheridan 
himself, spread it before their eyes. After that nothing was too good for 
him. Incidentally he mentioned that he belonged to the First Rhode Island 
Cavalry, and was told the Seventh Rhode Island was in the same fort. He 



PROM PORT HELL INTO PETERSBURG. 253 

at onoe aaked for his old friends, Capt. Edwin L. Hnnt, and Jeese I<. Anness, 
and, accordingly, was conducted into onr qnarters, where he remained as 
their gnest over night. Next morning he reported in person to the famous 
cayalry leader who had jnst arrived with his command. 

The tale he told was of thrilling interest, and therefore well deserves 
record here. Bnt the more perfectly to nndrstand a sconf s duties and their 
results, it may be premised that on February 28th, when Sheridan left 
Winchester, he had a force of forty scouts, half of whom were enlisted 
citizens, the others detailed soldiers, all under command of Maj. Henry H. 
Toung, of the Second Bhode Island. Of these men twenty-two were lost 
before Lee's surrender on April 9th. Two were held prisoners by the rebels 
on that day, but were, of course, speedily released. Sheridan reached Staun- 
ton, March 2d, and found Early in full retreat for Waynesborough. He, ac- 
cordingly, ordered his scouts to enter the rebel lines, and ascertain if they 
were intending to make a stand at that point. Before daylight they re- 
turned and reported arrangemfents had been made to oppose his advance at 
a gap not far from that town, a force having been left for that purpose. 
Through information thus received that detachment was surrounded and 
cnptured. When the command had passed through the gap they were 
ordered to keep well in advance both of the centre and the wings as they 
moved on toward Charlottesville. During the afternoon those on the main 
road met its mayor and prominent citizens coming out to surrender the 
town. Being dressed in full gray they were mistaken for Confederates and 
were quickly told to move out of the way as they were intending 
to surrender the place. One of the scouts inquired the time of day, 
whereupon one of the mayor's party pulled out a gold watch which 
was promptly confiscated, the owner ruefully remaricing their own men 
were worse than the Yankees. From thence it was Sheridan's intention 
to cross the James Biver and move directly to Grant's assistance at Peters- 
burg, but the water was so high his pontoons would not reach across, and, 
accordingly, he was obliged to remain on the north side. It was now that 
Stone and Biley were detailed to go around Biohmond and gather up infor- 
mation. One night the two took an old flatboat in which they floated down 
the stream, intending thus to get inside the rebel lines, when, leaving the 
boat, they would strike across the country in the direction of their capital. 
The river trip was without incident until after midnight, when the frail 
craft struck a snag and capsized, dumping the two scouts into the water 
near a rebel picket reserve. During the excitement they became separated, 
and Biley was never again heard from. He may have been shot, he may have 
drowned. Thus was their intention to go different ways carried out, but 



264 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

in part involnntarily. Stone managed to reach dry land in a safe locality, 
and at once struck into the country, moving steadily on until sunrise when, 
finding a convenient spot, he tarried to dry his clothes until the middle of 
the forenoon, when he started in search of something' to eat, and, also to 
ascertain his whereabouts. Discovering he was but ten miles from Rich- 
mond, he concealed himself, and rested until night. Proceeding now cau- 
tiously, everything went well until the next afternoon, when he came sud- 
denly upon som» rebels who made him their prisoner. He displayed to 
them a furlough which he had taken from a Confederate soldier, but it was 
of no avail. They told him they were ordered to bring in every soldier they 
could find. When brought into their camp he exhibited his furlough to the 
commander, but was told it was worthless, and that he must go to Rich- 
mond. While that was his destination, he did not care to go that way, so 
at night he made his escape and once more struck across the country. For 
two days everything went well, but then he was again gobbled up by the 
rebs. This tinve he feared he should never see his Yankee friends again, 
for the Richmond papers stated some of Sheridan's scouts were in the 
vicinity, and he found it hard work to make them believe he was a Confed- 
erate. Finally, he was taken to Petersburg so closely guarded he had no 
opportunity to escape. There he was placed in camp near the Poor House, 
with about a hundred others that had been picked up. Soon after, two other 
rebels joined the squad, and, ere long, he became satisfied they were after 
his scalp. He knew it would be impossible for him to remain there any 
length of time without being found out, so he made up his mind to bid them 
adieu as soon as he had half a chance. Fortunately, on the third day, March 
26th, about noon, the captain started his incongruous company for the 
front, telling them that a heavy engagement had just occurred (the capture 
and repulse from Fort Steadman) , and that they needed all the men they 
could get, as more fighting was expected in a day or two. They did not 
know to what part of the line they were being conducted, nor were they 
assigned to any particular command, but simply were placed on the picket 
line just before dark. By accident, he was posted directly in front of Fort 
Sedgwick, where he improved the first chance to escape, which came next 
day, thus rendering, as himself says, March 27, 1865, the happiest day of 
his life. Twice were his boots examined by the rebs, but then they were 
Southrons, not Yanks. It may appropriately be added in this connection, 
that from this time on, until Lee's surrender, the saddles were scarcely re^ 
moved from the scouts' horses ; they were kept on the jump night and day. 
Stone was mustered out of service Aug. 3, 1865, holding the rank of cor- 
poral. 



FROM FOBT HELL INTO PETERSBURG. 255 

Tuesday, 28th. It in rumored that there will be a battle on our left 
near Hatcher's Bun. During the last two days a large force of infantry, 
cavalry, and artillery, has been moving in that direction. As President 
Lincoln with Sherman and Bheridan are reported to be at Grant's head- 
quarters at City Point, we are expecting news soon. Four days' rations 
have been issued. Early in the afternoon the mortars had a prolonged duel. 
At eight p. M. the men were called double-quick to the breastworks, as it 
was thought the rebels were about to make an attack on our immediate front. 
This apprehension was caused by the arrival of five deserters at our picket 
posts. The excitement soon subsided, however, and all returned to their 
quarters for the night but orders were given to pack up and to be in 
readiness to move at five a. m. 

Wednesday, 29th. Did not move though perfectly prepared. Do 
not believe we shall leave this fort so long as the armies remain here. Bome 
mortar firing at noon resulting in no damage on our side. Immense wagon 
trains are moving toward the left. At sundown cannonading could be 
heard in that direction, supposedly near Hatcher's Bun. 

Thursday, 30th. Last night about ten o'clock there was another ex- 
citing time on the picket line. To our surprise we then heard heavy picket 
firing, apparently near the scene of Saturday's fight It gradually extended 
up to us, and even half a mile beyond on our left. After a time it dwindled 
away to an ordinary amount, but for thirty minutes it was the fiercest 
picket engagement that had occurred for a long time. Simultaneously the 
rebels oi)ened their mortar battery very savagely. Our mortars and field 
artillery responded. This continued for ninety minutes, during which time 
hfteen or twenty shells could constantly be counted in midair at one time. 
A more splendid display I never witnessed. The entire Ninth Corps wa^ 
aroused ; those in the fortifications were at the ramparts, those in the rear 
were formed in line of battle ready to respond at once to any call. Soon 
after midnight all was quiet as usual, but our raiment remained at its 
posts in case of an emergency. The cause of this commotion is as yet un- 
known. It began to rain almost simultaneously, and continued to pour 
until five p. m. to-day. We hear fighting far to the left, but its locality and 
result we cannot ascertain. At bedtime everything around is quiet. 

Friday, 31st. All called to the breastworks at 3.30 a. m. There we 
learned a portion of our corps was in readiness to charge upon some of the 
rebel works, but for some reason they returned to their camps. It is re- 
ported that our troops on the left, near Hatcher's Bun, have advanced to 
within shelling distance of the South Side Railroad, have driven the enemy 
from their position along a line six or eight miles in extent, holding all 



256 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

they have gained. Heavy fighting continued in that direction to-day, and 
to-night the story is that Sheridan's cavalry has cut that railroad, has 
torn up ten miles of it, has driven the enemy four or five miles beyond, and 
holds his position there, having secured a large number of prisoners. 

The reason the charge was not made this morning is that three desert- 
eft who came in last night stated that the rebels had two divisions massed 
on our front waiting to receive the assaulting force. The order was counter- 
manded, therefore, just prior to the time set for the charge, five a. m. This 
was a lucky thing for us, as nearly all the attacking party would probably 
have been kiUed, wiounded, or made prisoners before they could have re- 
turned to our lines in case of repulse. At that hour it was very daric and 
rained very hard, but during the forenoon the weather cleared perfectly. 
It was reported that troops had been massed there on each of the last ten 
nights. 

Apbtl, 1865. , 

Saturday, 1st. Up again at the breastworks at three a m., but nothing 
was said or done about attacking the enemy's position. There has been 
more fighting on the extreme left, but no definite report has been received 
thereof. Our artillery has opened to-day on the rebel picket relief, in re- 
taliation for their perpetrating the same injustice on our pickets. 

Sunday, 2d. Colonel Daniels laid down last night with his clothes on 
expecting stirring events. At eleven o^clock the artillery suddenly opened. 
He was on his feet in an instant, and, almost immediately at the works, 
whither the men promptly followed him. Streams of fire were pouring 
steadily into the rebel works, exploding shells illumined their ramparts 
as rebounding, they flashed in midair, while corruscating bombs penciled 
the heavens with curves unmatched e'en by Aurora's fairy tiiuchos. Si>4>.i 
Major Peckham came with orders to double the pickets, and to have them 
advance when the line did. He reported Sheridan was across the South 
Side Railroad, had taken 3,600 prisoners, and that the works in our front 
were to be stormied. Later, in accordance with subsequent instructions, the 
colonel sent out men to make a break in the abatis, through which the First 
Division and a part of the Second passed, resting there in front of our left 
and waiting further orders. The pickets still fired heavily. Four o'clock 
came, and still no command to move. Just as the first gleam of daylight 
broadened so we could distinguish the dark lines of blue, they moved a 
short distance to the right, reformed quickly for the charge, and tiien dashed 
9n the enemy's lines. Each man strove to be first at the outworks of the 
enemy, the quicker the safer. Soon the rebel artillery opened on them fol- 



FROM FORT HELL INTO PETERSBURG. 257 

lowed by a slight fire of mnsketry, enveloping all in stifling smoke. A 
few minutes later the wonnded, the prisoners, and stragglers were pouring 
back. They announced the capture of two forts, and the probable seizure 
of a third. We now could discern our men and colors on the slope of 
Mahone's parapet, while others were waist-deep in the water and the mire 
of the ditch, and still others improved the shelter afforded by shell furrows 
plowed during the preliminary bombardment. At times any and all of these 
would rise and fire at those inside the parapet, who returned the compli- 
ment whenever it seemed safe to do so. Many were killed in this manner 
on both sides, yet we repressed the enemy more effectually than they did 
us. The fort on the right was captured entire, and then our men gradually 
drove the rebels from the traverses within Mahona After a time the firing 
nearly ceased, but the wounded were still coming rearward, many being 
helped or brought back by the able-bodied ; then, too, there were some sick 
and some stragglers searching for the rear. This drain, of course, weakened 
our force very materially. The rebel artillery still maintained a hot fire, 
and, being unable to harm our men around Mahone, paid their respects to 
us, making Fort Hell warm indeed. General Curtin sent an order from 
Fort Mahone for ammunition, and two companies were detailed to carry 
across a supply. When they returned two others were sent, and this was 
continued almost the entire forenoon, supplying 200,000 rounds of musket 
cartridges, and an ample quantity for the captured artillery, which was 
turned as rapidly as possible upon the Johnnies. About 9.30 or ten a. m. 
two three-inch guns came and took position in the south part of Fort 
Hell, sand bags being removed from two embrasures that they might be 
utilized. Fire was at once opened, covering the ground to the left of our 
men around Fort Mahone, whose flank could apparently be turned by a 
small force. Then we began to wish our line might be re-enforced. Later, 
we heard rumors that additional troops were coming. Just before noon the 
Johnnies did push around the (our) left side of that fort, and two regi- 
ments with General Curtin came back, but those of our men who had secured 
I>ositionB inside clung to it. Several times the rebs tried to drive them out, 
but each attempt was met with a fire they could not face. Most anxiously 
did we look for the promised assistance. 

Early in the afternoon we heard the rebel right was turned and broken, 
and that our forces were driving them this way. We could see their battle- 
smoke and an occasional shell when looking westerly across the hostile 
works. The details from our regiment were still carrying ammunition. A 
little later a column of fresh troops appeared, coming over the hill and 
through the swamp behind us. This was the brigade of Gol. Charles H. T. 

17 



258 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 



/ 



Collis, who had been in charge of City Point during the entire winter. His 
wife waa with him at camp, being compelled to remain on account of the 
serious illness of their child, though all other women had gone North. Hear- 
ing heavy artillery firing at the front that morning, himself and wife gal- 
loped to the heights overlooking Petersburg, where they witnessed the des- 
perate conflict taking place between the Ninth Ck)rps which had succeeded 
in taking one line of works, and the enemy who were stubbornly defending 
the second line. The warehouses were burning, and hundreds of wounded 
men and laden ambulances were moving to the rear. From them the 
colonel gathered the information that Oeneral Parke was hard pushed and 
needed help. The twain then galloped back toward City Point, as he ex- 
peted orders to go to Oeneral Parke's assistance, and sure enou^, ere 
long he met his brigade hurrying to the front under the command of Gol. 
A. H. Tippin, of the Sixty-eighth Pennsylvania. Sending his wife back to 
the Point, he assumed charge of his men, and did not halt them until he had 
massed them within the works of Fort Hell. He then crawled through the 
abatis and other obstructions on the Jerusalem Plank Boad to the rebel 
earthworks behind which Oeneral Parke and his staff were sheltered. He 
informed the general he had received orders from Oeneral Orant to report 
to him at once with his brigade. He asked how many men he had brought 
and was told about fifteen hundred. The colonel then asked for orders, and 
was told, "My line is very thin, and I have had a severe struggle to hold my 
present position. I think the enemy has been re-enforced, and if he makes 
another attack he will break through. Keep your eyes on my line, and if 
they attack exercise your discretion and distribute your command where 
it will be most effective in maintaining the ground gained." (It must be 
borne in mind that at this time Oeneral Parke with the Ninth Corps was 
holding the entire line from the Appomatox River on the right to the ex- 
treme left which had been held by the entire Army of the Potomac only the 
day before.) The colonel (afterwards a brevet major-general) crawled 
back again on all fours to Fort Hell. Ooing and coming, he was constantly 
fired at, and several times was obliged to seek shelter. His escape from 
injury was well-nigh miraculous. Rejoining his command he marched it 
out into the open, and formed columms of regiments. Perhaps half an 
hour later the rebel yell was heard, and the Johnnies appeared on the earth- 
works drving out some of Parke's men. Again all was anxiety in the 
fort, but Colonel Collis at once took his own r^ment, the One Hundred 
and Fourteenth Pennsylvania (Zouave), and charged across the abatis 
and other obstructions, easily driving the enemy out of sight. He was 
exposed to a murderous fire of musketry on his left flank from the salient at 



FROM FORT HELL INTO PETERSBURG. 259 

Fort Mahone, whereby three of the nine oflScers present wa« killed. Having 
safely established his own, he returned for his other three remaining regi- 
ments, and led them in person, extending his line toward the left. By this 
time the firing had considerably slackened. It required nearly two hours 
to get the brigade into good shape for another assault, as some of the men, 
though only slightly wounded, had dropped into ditches during his advance. 
He now (about five p. m.), having previously sent out three or four small 
reconnoitering parties, reported in writing to General Parke that there 
was no enemy in his immediate front for a mile, and asked permission to 
advance to the town. The reply was promptly returned, "Go ahead ! I will 
support you on both flanks." Just as his dispositions were made, however, 
and he was about to move forward in a line of battle, a circular order was 
received from General Grant (who was several miles distant, and, therefore 
unaware of our success) directing all corps and independent commanders 
to hold the position then occupied, and make a general advance at daylight 
on the morrow. The colonel's heart went down into his boots, for he felt 
sure that if the commanding general had known the true condition of 
afFairs, General Parke could have taken Petersburg that afternoon, and 
seriously interfered with Lee's retreat across the river. Indeed, it is prob- 
able his entire left wing would have been captured and the surrender would 
have occurred long before Appomatox Court House was reached. By this 
time we who still remained in the fort noting the huge columns of black 
smoke, heavy and sullen, that were rising from Petersburg and to the north, 
had concluded a stunning blow had been given the Confederacy. Our flags 
were floating on the rebel works, and, as daylight faded into darkness, we 
hopefully watched them, clinging closer and closer to their eagle-peaked 
staffs until they were lost in the gloom. Thus closed that wild, stormy Bab- 
bath, a day of blood, carnage, and victory. 

During the day Dr. Sprague was operating in the large bombproof. He 
had three times as many wounded as he could attend to. Most of the time 
the Johnnies continued pouring shot and shell into our fort and into its 
immediate vicinity. It was nearly noon before the colonel had an oppor- 
tunity to visit his quarters to partake of a hasty breakfast Our picket 
guard was changed just before dark. By this time men who had straggled 
away during the day were brought back and sent to their raiments, so 
that our line on the rebel works was again strongly manned. During the 
night the destruction within the city continued, and the sky was beautifully 
crimsoned by the many fires. Late in the evening, wrapped in their blankets, 
the entire regiment save details on duty, laid themselves down beside the 



260 SEVENTH BHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

parapet, soon forgetting grim-visaged war, bnt ready at the first signal to 
spring to arms. 

The retention of the Seventh in Fort Hell was designed and was a 
splendid compliment to the organization. Generals Pari^e and Potter 
alike, desired some place to rally upon in case of disaster. Both at the 
mine and at Pegram farm it had rendered especially valuable service in 
allaying disorder and in forming a nncleus for re-formation, and its com- 
nmnding officer was notified sometime prior to the assault that his rai- 
ment should remain in garrison. 

Our losses from wounds during the day were as follows: Brevet-Maj. 
Pel^ E. Peckham,* acting assistant adjutant-general at brigade head- 
quarters, who died next day. The staff had just sat down to breakfast 
which had been brought over from Gheevers house in an apparently safe loca- 
tion, not far from the left of Fort Sedgwick. While partaking thereof, there 
was a sudden burst of musketry in the vicinity of Fort Mahone. The 
officers sprang to their feet to determine the probable result of the firing. 
That instant a bullet struck Major Peckham in the forehead, and he fell 
to the ground. Dr. Blackwood, of Philadelphia, was present, and, after 
investigating the wound, remarked, "Peckham, they've got you this time." 
He was carried to the City Point hospital by Elisha M. Palmer, of Com- 
pany A, brigade orderly. Most of the time he was insensible. He had been 
married only two months before, when home on leave. April 16th, Major 
Henry S. Burrage, of the Thirty-sixth Massachusetts, was appointed to the 
position thus vacated, as has been already stated. 

Ck>mpany A, George A. Langworthy, contusion of chest by shell ; Com- 
pany B, George W. Preston; Company C, Richard Carpenter, Daniel 
McCready, Edward Reordan,t Emor Young; Company D, Joseph Wilson, 
severely in head; Company E, Capt. Edwin L. Hunt; Company F, Lieut. 
Albert A. BoUes.* Notwithstanding the danger of being hit by flying bul- 
lets, our men in Fort Sedgwick sought favorable positions from which to 
observe the struggle across the fields at the enemy's lines. Midafternoon 
when the Zouaves were moviug forward. Lieutenant Bolles stepped up to a 
crevice between two sand bags where Joe Morris had been standing a 
moment before. Another comrade was standing by his side looking through 
another crevice. The spiteful whizz of a sharpshooter's bullet startled him. 
He looked toward the officer and saw his head jerk to one side. He heard 
the bullet crowd itself into some obstruction. The eyelids drooped until 
the eyes were nearly closed. With a prolonged diminishing groan Lieuten- 
ant Bolles sank an unconscious heap upon the ground. As only the head 
had been exposed the injury was there, but no indication could be dis- 




Joseph N. Morris. Francis B. Holland. Sergt. John W. Webster. 




Confederate Prison, Old Street Alley, Petersburg, Va., Where More Than 
400 Union Prisoners Were Confined at One Time. 



PROM FORT HELL INTO PETERSBURG. 261 

covered. A rattling sound gargled through hia nostrils as he spasmodioallj 
breathed. On the white skin near the mouth was a orimson stain. The 
officer was quickly conveyed to the surgeons who were surprised when ad- 
vised no indications of harm but unconsciousness seemed to exist. Just 
then a fresh drop of blood oozed out from his compressed lips and suggested 
an examination of the buccal cavity. It was at once seen that the bullet 
had passed between his lips and also between the two rows of teeth without 
touching either, finally burying itself in the tissues of the neck back of 
the throat, and infiicting a mortal wound from which he died at City Point 
five days later. Our total loss, therefore, wa« three killed and eight 
wounded. 

Monday, 3d. Betum of day revealed the fact that the hours of night 
had been improved by the rebs to place a« great an interval between them- 
selves and us as circumstances permitted. Our men at once investigated 
their abandoned works. Joe Morris secured a fur knapsack in Fort Defiance, 
just west of Fort Mahone. It had been mariced Third Louisiana Tigers, 
but belonged to Oapt. Andrew Hyroe, Third Company, Washington Artillery. 
We were ready to move at an early hour, but not until nine o'clock did 
the brigade pass through the rebel fortifications. After a brief halt just 
inside, it was sent farther across the fields to the rear of the second line 
where arms were stacked midway between them and the Jerusalem Plank 
Road, directly opposite a sixty-four-pounder columbiad that had but just 
been mounted. Though in position it was spiked and stu£Fed with earth to 
the muzzle. A number of mortars were lying near by spiked beside their 
beds. Among them we noticed more especially the ^'Twin Sisters" (eight- 
inch) , since they were most attentive to us. A more extended glance showed 
the Johnnies were troubled far more by our shells than we were by theirs, 
for the ground around the twins was literally honeycombed. Another con- 
trast impressed itself; inside our works were naught but dreary plains 
with fields of stumps and bare hills ; within theirs nearly everything looked 
fresh and green, beautiful flowers blossoming beside walks that led only to 
shapeless piles of brick. Some of the boys commenced amusing themselves 
with the big powder cylinders strewn around the huge gun, while others 
pretentiously sighted the piece and gave commands, still others watching 
meanwhile the flight of an imaginary projectile and congratulating the 
gunner on the surprising results of that lucky shot. Suddenly loud cheer- 
ing was heard from the point where the Plank Boad entered their works, 
and a group of horsemen was seen riding toward us. Instantly every man 
rushed to his place beside the line of stacked muskets and watched their 
approach. Great was the outburst of cheers from the left of the line as the 



262 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

party drew nearer, and it was discovered that tbe foremost rider was in 
citizen's attire, with silk hat in hand, constantly bowing in acknowledgment 
of salutations. "That's Old Abe coming," was the cry, and men swung their, 
caps and cheered and cheered. He slowed his cantering steed, allowing it 
to walk past the multitude that was wild with huzzas. Admiral Porter ac- 
companied him and a troop of cavalry. The party was watched until it 
disappeared in Oxe deep, denser portions of the city. A little later the 
bugle sounded "Fall in," and we followed our commander-in-chief. Halting 
but once to rest, we marched through and out West Washington Street, to 
the inspiring strains of "Hail Columbia" and "Yankee Doodle," without 
having seen the "Stars and Stripes" floating from a single building. It is a 
terrible "Secesh Hole," but we had the satisfaction of giving them three 
rousing cheers for the fall of Richmond, the occupation of which, by General 
WeitzePs negroes we learned this morning while en route. The white resi- 
dents gazed at us from half-closed doors and windows. They moved about 
in a discouraged manner as if hopeless prisoners. The sidewalks were oc- 
cupied by people of color who gave vent to their feelings in expressions 
like these: "You 'uns are welcome into de city, gemmen! De Lord bress 
you 'uns! Where you 'uns all come from? We like you 'uns heap better'n 
we duz de rebels! Bress de good Jesus, de Yankees hab come! We's been 
looking for you 'uns dese many days !" Our occupation came in the form of a 
surprise to most of the residents. One of the prominent citizens was 
wakened that morning by his wife who told him that the troops were mov- 
ing through the town, and making a great deal of noise. He rose, looked 
out of the window and replied : "Yes, my dear, and they have red l^gs and 
are carrying a Yankee flag." Evidently these were the One Hundred and 
Fourteenth Pennsylvania, whose brilliant charge we watched the day before. 




Court House, Petersburg, Va. From This Tower the First Union Flag 
IN Petersburg, Va., Was Displayed by Color Sergeant William 

T. WlXCEY OF THE FIRST MICHIGAN SHARP SHOOTERS AT 

4.22 A. M., April 3, 1865. 




Court House, Vicksburg, Miss., January, t9oi. From the Cupola of this Court 
House Col. William E. Strong of Gen. McPherson*s Staff Flung Out the 
Battle-Worn Flag of the Forty-Fifth Ills. Rect., About 
10 A. M., July 4, 1863. 



CHAPTER XI. 

Petebsbubo to Fabmyille and Retubn. 
April 3— Apbil 23, 1866« 

MONDAY, 3d. Marching west from Petersburg parallel to the South 
Si<}e Bailroady we passed through the works that were on our 
front when at the Peeble and the P^ram farms. They were quite 
insignificant compared with ours. Crossing to the north side at five p. u., 
we moved, though slowly, until ten p. u., when we halted for the night 
Adjt. John Sullivan, who was taken prisoner near Jackson, Mississippi, July 
13, 1863, here rejoined us. 

Tuesday, 4th. At 8.30 a. m. again on the road. Soon halted for a 
long wagon train to pass. A little later met three pieces of rebel artillery, 
G^eneral Burrington and staff, and a considerable batch of minor rebel 
prisoners, all bound for Petersburg. In the early afternoon, we tarried 
for an hour in a wheatfield near a new house, around which the foe had 
hastily thrown up some fieldworks. Our afternoon's march was again pro- 
longed until ten p. m. Numerous wrecks were observed along the railroad 
and no wonder, for wooden rails had been substituted for iron, when the 
latter had become worn out. Besides, not a little wreckage marked our path- 
way, wagons having given out or been tumbled into ditches. 

Wednesday, 5th. The men are commenting on the noticeable, almost 
oppressive silence that pervades the land. There is a deep sense of incom- 
pleteness, of loneliness, like the solitude of a great city at dead of night. 
Sugar, coffee, bread, and meat are issued. Start at 9.30 a. m., halt for dinner 
at Wilson's Station,..and, finally, stop for the night at "Black's and White's'' 
Station. 

Thursday, 6th. There was quite a shower last night, and it continues 
raining this morning. We do not leave camp until two p. m., and soon meet 
a return supply train loaded with contrabands. The first definite informa- 
tion received of the embarrassed situation of the rebels, waa from an old 
white-haired darky whose head and shoulders projected from beneath the 
canvas hood of a passing army wagon. With hat in hand he was smiling 



264 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

and bowing, but for some moments was confused by the questions our men 
hurriedly put to him. At last he broke out, "Bress de Lawd! Dey's got 
ole Lee up dar an' he can't git out!" That "brought down the house." 
There was one prolonged roaring shout from every man. At once it became 
the habit to ask every darky met to take off his hat to us. They considered 
it quite a compliment. They had been told that Yankees had horns, and 
one was ignorant enough to ask where they were. He was promptly shown 
our bayonets. About five p. m. we passed Nottoway Court House, crossed 
Danville Railroad at 8.30 p. m. and bivouacked at ten p. m. near Burkesville 
Junction, after a march of eighteen miles. 

Friday, 7th. During the forenoon the regiment remained in a grove 
near a Mr. Dickenson's house, although its members did considerable 
foraging. A good supply of poultry and pigs wbb secured, the more easily 
as some of the men were mounted on confiscated horses. One comrade 
purchased two quarts of molasses from an aged negro, giving him a twenty- 
five cent postal currency note in payment. The darky remarked it was 
quite a curiosity to him; it was the first money he had ever possessed.. 
When asked how old he was, he replied he did not know positively, but 
reckoned he was nearly eighty. 

About noon the brigade moved up to relieve one attached to the 
Twenty-fourth Corps on duty at Burkesville Junction. After some delay 
our camp was established on the Hungrytown Boad, about half a mile 
south of Burkesville, which had but five or six dwelling houses. Six 
thousand Johnnies captured yesterday at Sailor's Creek, more properly 
spelled Saylor's Creek, having been so named from a family residing in 
Prince Edward's County during the eighteenth century, were under guard 
near brigade headquarters. The afternoon was rainy and uncomfortable. 

Saturday, 8th. At 7.30 a. m. Companies B, G, H, and I, moved out five 
miles to Jeffrey's store, at a four corners, whence parties went scouting 
and searching houses. A line of skirmishers, guided by a darky, penetrated 
a neighboring swamp for a hidden drove of horses and mules which were 
secured. There was but one good animal in the lot, a noble looking white 
horse which Colonel Daniels bought for f 60, taking the owner's bill of sale 
therefor and reporting the fact to his immediate superior. General Ourtin. 
The colonel had been obliged to walk or ride on borrowed steeds since his 
own horse was stolen, March 27th. He brought the animal home and 
subsequently sold it to a resident of Fruit Hill, by whom it was used as a 
family horse. Mr. Jeffrey, a rich and ardent Secessionist, who was certain 
the villianous Yanks could never get there, had a large supply of bacon on 
hand, most of which was appropriated. His stock of poultry also suffered 




Last Meeting Place of President Lincoln and General Grant, April 3, 1865. 

Residence of Ex-Mayor Thomas Wallace, Market St., Petersburg, Va. 

Lincoln Arrived First and Waited on the Porch 

FOR General Grant. 




Bomb-Proof Headquarters Seventh Regiment R. L Vols, in Fort Sedgwick. 
Tub at Left of Entrance. 



PETERSBURG TO FARMYILLE AND RETURN. 265 

heayily. The men found quite a quantity of old cider, and also some Ayer's 
Sarsaparilla, which they devoted to their immediate personal use. Before 
the details were all in, some hospital wagons drove up and seriously dimin- 
ished the pile of bacon ; they also took a load of potatoes from a pile dis- 
covered in a secluded comer. Then officers from Grant's headquarters 
came and possessed themselves of a liberal amount of poultry. Notwith- 
standing these losses, the men had so improved their opportunities, that 
when they started about the middle of the afternoon, every one was provided 
with the means of an ample change in diet. Their arrival at camp a little 
after sunset was the occaaion of great mirth. Nearly every footman had 
fowls and bacon dangling from gun or belt, while the mounted men carried 
behind them bundles of sundries. A new drum and a Brother Jonathan 
hat, tall and tapering, were conspicuous among the spoils. 

Sunday, 9th. A detail of fifty men wa« sent out early to forage for the 
hospital. 

A little after two p. m. we started with our brigade toward Lynchburg, 
following the line of the railroad and crossing the Appomatoz River about 
nightfall ; at nine p. m. bivouacked about four miles this side of Farmville 
near Staunton Bridge, sometimes called High Bridge, having accomplished 
twelve miles. We were the only portion of the Ninth Corps that passed 
beyond Burkesville Junction. 

Monday, 10th. Awoke in a rainstorm. Resumed our march at seven 
A. M.^ and, at ten a. m., damp and muddy, reached Farmville, a quiet 
country village, containing about fifteen hundred inhabitants, three or 
four churches, and a number of fine residences. We relieved a brigade of 
the Sixth Corps. It was from here on April 6th that General Grant sent 
a request to General Lee to surrender to prevent further efifusion of blood, 
but the proposition was held in abeyance until the 9th. Our course through 
the town was quite circuitous, and took us by a rebel hospital, around which 
paced sentries clad in blue. It was crowded with patients who came to 
the neat rustic fence enclosing it to watch us pass. Pleasant and sociable, 
they remarked freely that they had done their last fighting. They seemed 
particularly anxious to secure souvenir bargains, ofllering in exchange 
Confederate money and tobacco with which they were abundantly supplied. 
The article most eagerly sought was the pocketknife, which had long been 
in great demand among them. After passing nearly through the town, 
the Seventh was conducted up a steep, winding street to the summit of a 
high hill overlooking the entire country. Here, in an oak grove, a camp 
was laid out with fair regularity, but the material for tent sticks was very 
scarce. On the southern crest of the height was the residence and out- 



266 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

buildings of the owner of the contiguous property, George W. Daniel. The 
tobacco bam was filled with cured tobacco pressed into large hogsheads. 
They were very heavy. Some of our men rolled out several, and, for 
amusement, started them' down the steep slope. It was fun to see them go 
bouncing along, the hoops and staves giving way and flying off in every di- 
rection, while the huge lump of weed completed alone its journey to the 
swamp. Mr. Daniel has been dead many years, the estate passing into the 
hands of S. W. Paulett, who has converted it into a fruit farm and erected 
a fine residence on the site of our camp ground. Late this afternoon divers 
rumors were floating around, some of them wild and contradictory, and, 
though nothing could be ascertained that dispelled our dense ignorance of 
the situation at the extreme front, there was a growing conviction that 
something serious and decisive was at hand. Soon after dark we were hur- 
riedly summoned around a large campfire in front of the colonel's quarters. 
Comrades came running from all directions firing conundrums with 
machine-gun rapidity. When satisfied that every one was present, the 
colonel directed the adjutant to read an order that had just been received. 
Thereupon, that officer read the official announcement of Lee's surrender. 
Tremendous cheers went up, and every heart beat quick with the thought 
that the war was indeed over, a thing of the past; that home and friends 
would be seen once more. Even the remembrance of the sad fate of so 
many of our comrades failed to dampen our spirits. Tears of joy wet the 
cheeks of many a grim veteran. They danced in frenzied delight around 
huge bonfires, that grew bigger and bigger, crackling, blazing, fiaring wildly 
out into the night, singing songs, old and new, in an impulsive, bewilder- 
ing manner, funny indeed under any other circumstance. Such hilarity 
was never before observed. High they tossed their caps; high each other's 
caps. Even their shoes flew heavenward. Each seemed bent on reviving 
the frolicsome antics of boyhood. Looking beyond in every direction was 
a sea of sparkling fires, indicating the various regimental camp grounds 
whence vociferations of jubilation were wafted by the enraptured vernal 
zephyrs. Soon the bells in the village spires took up the glad refrain, the 
batteries accentuated their rejoicings, while the bands crowning all, poured 
forth our national airs, thereby exciting a thrill of patriotic ecstacy never 
elsewise known. All prisoners in the guardhouse were released. 

Tuesday, 11th. Broke camp and marched into town at eight a. m. After 
a supply of rations had been secured. Companies H, and I, with half of P 
and K, were sent under Captain Jenks to Burkesville in charge of a batch 
of prisoners. The remainder of the regiment followed the same road four 
miles and pitched camp in a pinery on the upper side near a credc. After 



PETERSBURG TO FARMYILLE AND RETURN. 267 

dinner we went to work repairing the roads which were ezcedingly bad. 
Two miles away, bnt in plain view, is High Bridge, which, on the Lynch- 
bnrg Boad crosses the Appomatoz and half its valley. It was twenty-four 
hundred feet long, one hundred and twenty-eight feet high, and rested on 
twenty-one brick piers with stone foundations. Four of the spans had been 
burned by the rebs, but they left over twenty pieces of artillery in the 
works around it. It was the scene of a desperate charge by the Fourth 
Massachusetts Cavalry numbering but thirteen officers and sixty-seven men 
under command of Colonel Washburn, who was himself mortally wounded 
on that field. It assailed Bosser's Division of rebel cavalry, when Fitzhugh 
Lee's cavalry, and Longstreet's infantry were in supporting distance. Of 
course there could be but one result to such an unequal contest, the anni- 
hilation of the conmiand. Three officers were killed, five wounded, and 
three captured, together with the surgeon and chaplain, who tarried to 
care for the wounded, and were taken prisoners after the action was over. 
These five, with sixty of the men, remained in the hands of the enemy until 
after Lee's surrender. But the boldness of the act conveyed to the foe the 
impression that Sheridan's entire force of cavalry was close at hand, and 
thus kept the fieeing hosts on the north side of the Appomatox Biver, and 
rendered the closing scene at Appomatox Court House possible. It may 
well be added that when Color Sergeant Hickey saw capture was inevitable, 
he spurred his horse to a neighboring house, leaped from his saddle, rushed 
in, thrust his regimental flag into the glowing coals on the hearth, and had 
the satisfaction of seeing it disappear in fiame as his enraged pursuers 
entered the door. 

One of the most amusing as well as striking features of the trip to 
Farmville, was the blank amazement of the black and white inhabitants 
of these hitherto unvisited regions, at the immense numbers of the Yankees. 

From the time the regiment left Bealeton Station, May 5, 1864, our ears 
were seldom free from the sound of guns until Lee's surrender, April 9, 
1865. The rebel General Bushrod Johnson and staff passed toward Peters- 
bu^. 

Wednesday, 12th. Parties are at work in both directions from camp. 
The Sixth Corps is passing on its return to Petersburg. Generals Grant 
and Lee also passed the same way, the latter in a covered ambulance. There 
are also paroled Confederates everywhere, the formal part of the surrender, 
the giving up of their arms and colors, having occurred to-day. The rem- 
nants of the Army of North Virginia are fast scattering to their homes. 
All are sore, some pretend to be anxious to continue to fight, though at 
a loss for an answer as to what they can do now, if they were too weak to 



268 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

hold fortifications they had worked on for ten months. Others believe that 
the war is over and heartily wish for peace. 

Thursday, 13th. Though the weather is much improved, we have a 
day in camp. It has been raining for a number of days making the con- 
dition of the roads wretched. The Second Corps (Hancock's) has been 
passing all day, also many paroled prisoners. 

Friday, 14th. A heavy detail is at work recovering the rebel artillery. 
The guns are placed in returning supply wagons, their wheels and carriages 
having been destroyed on the retreat. Received our first mail since leaving 
Petersburg. The paroling of prisoners still continues. They freely relate 
their experiences during the last four weeks, and especially during the last 
two. Their story would not be credited save by those who know it could 
not be otherwise. They declare fighting has "played out," and use Con- 
federate money to light their pipes, and olQ^er the Federal soldiers some for 
the same purpose. They do not seem to have been enemies. Their stained 
and tattered clothing contrasted sorrowfully with the fresh light blue of 
our own men. 

Mr. Watkins, an elderly gentleman, residing about threeHjuarters of 
a mile away, through the woods, applied at camp this morning for a guard. 
He invited the colonel and Dr. Sprague home with him. They accepted, and 
found a very pleasant family that regaled thenn with singing and other 
music. A guard was sent; also one to Mrs. Ligum, on the Prince Edward 
Road, a mile from camp, and one yesterday to Mrs. Chambers' on the other 
side of the Burkesville Road. Captain Jenks and his battalion rejoined us 
late last night, also Lieut. Daniel S. Remington, and the men who were on 
furlough when we moved into Petersburg. 

Saturday, 15th. A stormy day. Our quartermaster comes up with the 
regimental wagons, bringing the officers' baggage and some tents. The 
colonel had tried for several days to get the teams up, and General Curtin 
had ordered them twice, but while they waited we had a chance to appreciate 
the beauties of an independent quartermaster general's department, and 
to use things within reach. 

Sunday, 16th. This morning the sun came out clear. At eight a. m. 
broke camp, marched half a mile and laid out a new camp on a little 
grass covered clearing in the edge of a pine grove, ten rods west of a large 
white house on the Lunenburg Road owned by a planter named Watson. 
It was sufficiently removed from the main road to avoid the stench fnnn 
the numerous dead horses and mules that lined the highway. Two found 
near the camp were buried. A large detail was sent to the bridge to recover 
and load more artillery. There is a rumor in camp to-night, which, though 




Ralph Beaumont. 
John Luther. 
Charles B. Green. 
Olney Whipple. 



Sergt. Charles F. Colvin. William Kenneth. 

Ser^t.-Major John P. Jones. 
Henry Wilson. Sergt. Franklin Gonsolve. 
Joseph Taylor. Corp. William Fay. 



James W. Gavitt. 
Sergt. John H. Rowley. 
Hartford Alexander. 
Sergt. Arthur W. Deane. 



PETERSBURG TO FARMYILLE AND RETURN. 269 

dlBoreditedy casts a gloom over all. It is that President Linooln has been 
assassinated. If so, and the act was sanctioned by the Confederate anthori- 
tiesy the Lord have mercy on the South. In sackcloth and ashes may they 
have opportunity to repent their foolhardiness. If it was intended to benefit 
the South, it should have been done before. Now, there is no excuse for 
such an act. 

Monday, 17th. Dress parade this aftertioon, attended by quite a number 
of spectators. Until the late movement, people here did not expect to see 
anything of the war. Bumor to-day has both contradicted and confirmed the 
sad story of the president's death, still we try to disbelieve it Nothing 
reliable is heard concerning Gen. Joe Johnston, who has been reported for 
the past two or three days to have surrendered. It is strange we cannot 
get reliable news of any kind. 

Tuesday, 18th. This morning the sunshine leaped over the eastern 
tree-tops with resplendent glory. Where troops had not trodden the young 
grass and clover looked fresh and bright, while the woods were fragrant 
with the opening blossoms of Spring and the healing balm of the pine. 
Such was the hour and such the surroundings when the men were called 
together at the colonel's quarters, and there heard the olBcial announce- 
ment of the president's assassination. They looked hard at one another. 
Some stamped their heel on the ground as if they stood on a nest of serpents. 
Others planted a clenched fist into the palm of the other hand and indulged 
in expressions of most vigorous indignation. Twitchel's Seventh Maine 
Battery that came on with our brigade from Burkesville, and fired the 
salute for Lee's surrender at Parmville, fired twenty-one minute guns, and 
also half-hour guns. Flags are at half-mast. ''So ends the career of one 
of the greatest men the world ever knew. Hated by tyrants he died, but 
respected, admired, beloved by the friends of republican institutions, history 
will give him her sunniest place, fame her richest wreath." 

Tows Hall, Fabmville, Va., April 18, 1865. 

A called meeting of the Common Council of Farmyille was held this day at Town 
HalL The object of the meeting being explained, and an official communication from 
General Curtin, commanding this Post, having been read, announcing the death by assas- 
sination of President Lincoln, and the orders of the General Commanding this Department, 
as to the proper observance of the day of the funeral obsequies of the late President, the 
following action was taken: 

Resolvedt That the Common Council of the town of Farmville have heard with pro- 
found regret the tragic fate of the late President of the United States. That we regard the 
event as a great National calamity, particularly and especially to the South, and while we 
deplore the country ^s loss, we, at the same time feel the warmest sympathy for the family 
whose head has been so suddenly and ruthlessly hurried into eternity. 



270 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFAKTRY. 

Resolved, That we cordially approve and will conform to the order of the Oommand- 
ing (General in the proper obseryanoe of this the day of the bnrial of the late President, and 
we recommend to the citizens suspension of all bosiness operations, and unite in the com- 
mon hope that this afflicting dispensation of Providence may not impede the restoration of 
peace and happiness to our country. 

Reeolved, That a copy of these be furnished General Gurtin commanding the Post. 

J. H. MoTLBY, Clerk, W. H. Thaokston, Mayor. 

■Wednesday, 19th. Colonel Daniels notes: ''Major Watson has a 
houseful of the spiciest set of feminine rebels to-night I have ever seen. 
They are school girls from Farmville on their way to their homes in Bioh* 
mond and vicinity, now that quiet has been restored." 

Thursday, 20th. Orders were received at two p. m. to prepare to move. 
The saf^uarda were called in and baggage packed. At noon took our place 
in the brigade colunm as it came along and marched to Burkesville Junction, 
some fifteen miles, bivouacking on the right of the railroad a little before 
dark. The Fifth Corps has relieved the Ninth as guard along the railroad. 
There was heavy thunder and lightning with some rain about sunset 

Friday, 21st On the road at eight a. m. At the Burkesville depot, 
there was an immense pile of rebel muskets that had been brought by teams 
from the front. They were being loaded upon cars. Several of our men 
have secured double-barreled shot-guns, sporting rifles, and all kinds of 
parcels in addition to their usual luggage. Halted for dinner at Nottoway 
Station and bivouacked at night two or three miles beyond Black's and 
White's Station, having compassed nearly twenty miles. No sooner were 
we fairly settled, than two well-known comrades started in search of beef, 
hoping to find some on the hoof. They discovered several animals, and shot 
one when nearly a mile away. Two men joined them and assisted in 
dressing the prize, receiving in recompense the two forequarters. Our men 
concealed their share until quite dark, one remaining in the vicinity to watch 
the meat, which, during the evening, was brought into camp. Later one of 
the twain was heard to remark, ^That bullock was the biggest sell ever 
out!" The meat was so thoroughly impregnated with garlic, a man had 
to be almost starved to eat it Some of it even went the rounds of the entire 
regiment; even then it failed to get eaten. At noon to-day the rebel Joe 
Johnston surrendered. 

Saturday, 22d. Started at six a. m. Morning quite cloudy, but cleared 
at nine a. m. Halt an hour and a half for dinner where we did on our out- 
ward trip, pass Ford's Station at two p. m., and at 5.30 halt for the night be- 
tween the fourteenth and fifteenth mile posts from Petersburg. Another 



PETERSBURG TO FABMVILLE AND RETURN. 271 

twenty milee traveled. Rumored that Vice-President Johnson has been 
assassinated. 

Sunday^ 23d. Beveille at three a. m. Resumed march at 4.30. Easily 
made Petersburg before eleven, marched through the city, and halted on the 
slope of Reservoir Hill, near the head of Sycamore Street, the heights that 
Baldy Smith stormed in June last. Tarrying here three hours, we, of 
course, prepared and ate our dinner. Meanwhile, the sutler of the Forty- 
eighth Pennsylvania came up, not having seen his patrons since the capture 
of the city. He unhitched his horses, removed some barrels from the rear 
of his wagon which he utilized as a counter, placed them underneath, and 
then commenced business, though selling only to his own men. His positive 
refusal to sell to others excited the wrath of some of our boys, who swore 
vengeance on the stock in trade he so temptingly displayed. The wagon 
stood nearly at the top of a steep slope, and fronted the descent. Each of 
the four wheels had been carefully trigged. Quite a crowd was assembled 
composed largely of men clamoring for his wares, but meeting with per- 
sistent rebuffs. It pressed closer and closer every minute. Suddenly to 
everyone's amazement, the triggs having been quietly removed from the 
wheels, the loaded wagon started all alone down the hill. Several barrels 
of ginger-cakes and soda biscuit followed it on the flanks. After a perilous 
trip of five or six hundred feet, badly wrecked, it came to a stop in some 
bushes at the bottom, but there was little remaining inside that anybody 
hankered after. Along its track were also scattered canned peaches, cheese, 
peanuts, and tobacco. These, with the contents of the barrels were quickly 
sampled and appreciated, while it b^an to dawn upon the trader that a 
tidal wave of humanity had wiped his stock out of existence. Resistance 
was not thought of. Of course, those engaged in the undertaking were well 
aware they had no uphill task before them, but every arrangement was 
carried out so quietly everybody's eyes stuck out like doorknobs. The per- 
petrators were so elated at their success, noisy demonstrations were not 
attempted, nor even thought of. Soon after one p. m. we moved across the 
creek, "Lieutenant Run," to fields in rear of the rebel line adjacent to the 
spot where it crosses the Baxter Road. Tents are pitched, and at once all 
the men are visiting Fort Hell, the crater, and such other points as seemed 
attractive. The day was quite cool with a good breeze. 



CHAPTER XII. 

Life in Fort Hell Ain) Elsewhere. 



FORT SEDGWICK, more familiarly known as Fort Hell, occupied the 
most elevated, natural position within our lines. A large portion of 
the enemy's works and of our own, as well as the roofs and spires of 
Petersburg, were distinctly visible from its ramparts. Hence it became a 
notable place, and was visited, not only by all prominent military officers 
from General Grant down, but also by congressmen, governors, and public 
men of every sort. It was easily accessible by the Jerusalem Plank Boad 
from Hancock Station on the military railroad, or more safely by the zigzag 
covered way. In the slope of the work just west of the entrance was a three- 
foot post. To the top of this was attached a neat white tablet two feet long 
on which had been painted, 'Tort Sedgwick" in black letters three inches 
high. While entering the sallyport, the interior was concealed from view 
by a strong stockade consisting of forty-two logs hewn to fit each other, and 
planted upright in a single row. It was pierced with loopholes for mus- 
ketry. Across the ditch, which, of course, entirely surrounded the work,wa» 
a drawbridge that could be raised or lowered at will, and was furthermore 
strengthened by a portcullis. Behind the stockade was an ordinary canvas 
that served as a guardhouse. A sentinel at the entrance answered questions 
and informed visitors as to the diflferent covered ways and positions. The 
men took great pleasure in conducting their guests around, and well it was 
for them they did so as the rear of the hill on which the fort was situated 
was so honeycombed with bombproofs, covered ways, drains, and magazines, 
that every stranger was puzzled to find his way by daylight; at night it 
was a perfect labyrinth. Knowing ones, when exposing themselves, always 
kept a sharp eye on the rebel works, for if the end of a spongestaff was seen 
to appear above a parapet and immediately disappear it was pretty certain 
the Johnnies were charging a gun. They knew it was time to slide down 
behind their own works and await the result on unsuspecting sightseers. 
Many times a safe place was reached none too soon, as a hostile projectile 
came dangerously quick and near. The effect upon the unsuspecting com- 



LIFE IN FORT HELL AND ELSEWHERE. 273 

patriot was remarkable. Peals of laughter from the Confederate cannoneers 
could be distinctly heard at the result of their exploit. 

One day a sentinel replied to a quizzing as to the identity of a trio of 
ministerial-looking citizens who had just passed in, '^They inquired for Fort 
Hell, and I guess when the Johnnies see them tall hats, sticking above the 
breastworks they will find out where Port Hell is." It may be remarked 
here that the men frequently loaned their caps to people viewing the prem- 
ises. 

Our life varied materially from soldier life elsewhere. Its uniformity 
was more absolute. Company and battalion drills never occurred, nor were 
even mentioned during our entire stay. Inspections were of very irr^ular 
occurrence, and then more a reality than a formality. A glance was all 
that was necessary to satisfy one the arms were bright and clean, and the 
ammunition ready for constant use. Those held on Sunday morning took 
place on the old road bed between the stockade and the big bombproofs. 
Here, too, guard mount occurred, but not with its usual elaborate ceremonies. 
The detachments simply marched on to the ground and reported to the 
adjutant. Neither flagstaff nor bandstand graced this parade ground; in- 
deed, with but a solitary exception I never knew a band to be in the vicinity. 
Even the bombardments became monotonous though at uncertain intervals 
and generally unheralded. When the Seventh was assigned to this post, 
it numbered four hundred and sixty-one officers and men, present and ab- 
sent. On their arrival each was thoroughly drilled to his special duty. 
Everyone knew the exact spot to which he should repair in the event of an 
attack and the shortest road thither. It was a standing order that all save 
those on duty should rally at the breastworks between two and three each 
morning and tarry there until broad daylight. This was to prevent a pos- 
sible surprise. Hence, the forenoons were devoted to napping, which the boys 
denominated their '^beauty snooze." Any alarm on the picket line brought 
every man to his post, and the boom of the first gun at night the entire re- 
serve force from the rear. Nor was the position of these other troops by day 
much safer than ours. It was not uncommon for men half a mile away to 
receive severe and even fatal injuries from the bullets of rebel sharpshooters 
while practicing on our front lines. As for the artillery one detachment 
was kept constantly at the guns, two men with a light in the magazine at 
night and a guard in the officers' quarters to waken them as required. 
These slept in their uniforms. At no time during the winter would they 
have failed to open fire on a half minute's notice. 

When the mortar batteries commenced operations the men fled from 
their quarters for safety, and from behind the parapet and traverses watched 

18 



274 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAM) INFANTRY. 

the descending projectiles. When the approach of a shell was observed they 
shrngged their shoulders as if undergoing mental strain, until it disappeared 
in the ground. If it burst midair they sought shelter from the flying frag- 
ments that scattered in all directions. The event was announced by the 
sudden appearance of a disk of dense but expanding white smoke as clear 
as bleached linen^ which floated away in the wind, flrst becoming ruilied at 
the borders, and then gradually fraying itself to pieces. 

The location of our quarters was determined by the elevation, and there- 
fore the drainage of the several parts of the fort which was most irr^ular 
in its contour and topography. There were no slated roofs nor gilded 
domes, nor even picturesque tents, merely mounds of earth, termed bomb- 
proofs or dugouts, wherein we burrowed like prairie dogs in numbers rang- 
ing from two to forty or more. The largest accommodated Companies I, D, 
H, and K, in that order from south to north. To construct them earth was 
excavated from the interior of parallelograms staked out in conformity with 
available space and the proposed number of occupants, usually to the depth 
of three feet. On the edges of the pits were placed logs neatly fltted at the 
corners, which were carried up a sufficient height to enable a person to walk 
nearly erect when a log ceiling had been placed across them. After this 
had been laid the interstices were fllled with leaves, and the removed soil was 
piled on thQ top and banked at the sides. In the side opposite the enemy an 
opening was left, affording access to the interior, which was gained by de- 
scending steps cut in the ground. An oilcloth, a blanket, or a piece of tent, 
was loosely suspended here, answering for a door. Bunks in the lai^ 
bombproofs were practically a long shelf or platform extending from end 
to end, elevated a foot or more above the floor, and composed generally of 
saplings, though occasionally of barrel staves and hard-tack box boards. The 
entire floor area was thus covered, save that at one side there was a narrow 
foot passage affording access to the fireplaces and the exits. As the breadth 
of the bunk was some inches less than our average stature we were obliged 
to draw up our feet when we lay down. So closely were we packed, all had 
to turn at word of command, personal convenience being subordinated to 
the general good. Muskets, cartridge boxes, haversacks, and canteens were 
hung at the head of the bed or on a convenient supporting pillar, while the 
walls and ceiling were adorned with pictures, according to the proprietor's 
means and fancy. In time the interior became thoroughly smoke-stained. 

The smallest bombproof contained but a single fireplace, the largest, tiny 
ones, distant from each other but ten or fifteen feet. These were simply re- 
cesses cut in the wall of hard clay, and open at the top, where rested the 
base of the chimney. This was built of old oyster cans filled with clay, 



LIFE IN FOKT HELL AND ELSEWHERE. 275 

which, of conri9e, were of variouB sizes and tints. Some were soon reddened 
with rnst, some blackened by fire, while others still shone bright and clear, 
affording, when viewed at a little distance, the resplendent hues of mother-of 
pearl. Headless barrels were utilized when procurable to afford desirable 
extension. A high wind wrought sad havoc among such structures, though 
the more delicate were substantially braced. The barrels would tumble 
about the camp while the cans fell down upon their owners. Strange to say, 
however, even in dead calms barrels have been known mysteriously to dis- 
appear and squarely to land on some other chimney that had not thus been 
previously adorned. Other misfortunes befell them. '<Some contained 
more or less wood, and, occasionally wben we had a good rousing fire, large 
patches of the clay lining woud become loose and fall, and, ere, we 
thought, the chimney waa burning, flames pouring forth vigorously from 
the top. When this occurred at night, the rebels clearly discerned the 
situation and patiently waited the appearance of a venturesome fireman 
whom they greeted with a rattling volley. Their cheers and jeers were 
distinctly heard when they saw him hurriedly abandon his attempt and drop 
out of sight. It was necessary then to tear down the burning structure and 
rebuild at convenience. Our only consolation was that our pickets enjoyed 
similar opportunities which they never failed reciprocally to improve. No 
substitute for a crane was provided, hence all cooking utensils when in use 
rested on the burning sticks. On certain days, therefore, smothering smoke 
sought every comer, penetrating through and through even our dress-suits, 
which thereby caught and permanently preserved the ravishing fragrance of 
bacon fat. To secure necessary fuel, axes rang merrily on every roadside. 
Army wagons, piled high with oak, pine, and other logs, cut deep ruts in the 
soft soil, and, at last, converted it into an immense quagmire. Rigid economy 
was practiced in its consumption, the more so because three-quarters of the 
heat generated passed up the chimney. The firewood was stored under the 
bunks. Frequently the men would go out of their own accord and gather a 
blanketful of clean, new, sweet smelling, pitchy chips. On very cold nights 
fires were kindled that glowed like furnaces of a blockade runner, and yet 
two hours after we had rolled ourselves in our blankets and fell asleep. 
Jack Frost held as undisputed sway inside the bombproof as he did outside. 
'During the winter, 1864-5, the weather was exceedingly changeable. 
Freezing snaps, blustering winds, snow and hail, rain and sleet, alternated 
with mild, balmy days, which we proportionately enjoyed as we lolled in all 
manner of squatty, crosslegged positions about the sunny comers and slopes. 
I yet remember well the first rainstorm after entering Fort Hell. Its 
architectural plans had not provided for drainage, consequently water 



276 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

that had been dripping all night from the log ceiling bringing down anon 
soft clots of mud, and the tiny streamlets that ponred in at various points 
on the sides, provided ns with a duck pond neither ornamental nor desirable, 
and so deep it reached the level of our bunks. The entire camp furniture 
was afloat. A comrade noticed me ruefully r^arding our half-filled haver- 
sacks bobbing around held only by the strap as to an anchorage and shouted 
out: ''Them bugs and worms in your hard- tack are in danger of being 
drowned !" The situation was indeed discouraging. I had to stay where I 
was and as I was, or take four or five long strides through the water to the 
nearest place of exit. The latter alternative was chosen. When safe out- 
side, I glanced around at the other bombproofs and found we were not es- 
pecially disfavored, for in them blankets, shoes, clothing, firewood, and camp 
utensils were discovered sailing around promiscuously. One man an- 
nounced that he had a fine mill privilege in his to dispose of. Another good- 
naturedly compared his situation with that of Robinson Crusoe. They 
generally accepted the unexpected and unpleasant in camp most philoso- 
phically. 

The long winter evenings were frequently devoted to such games as were 
adapted to the situation. Of course cards easily ranked first. Repeatedly 
the players indulged in heated arguments. On one occasion the game was 
suddenly terminated by the hurling of an old shoe at the candle, thus plung- 
ing the place into midnight darkness. Equally effectual in restoring 
quietness was throwing a cover over the top of the chimney, when the occu- 
pants were compelled to rush from their quarters to escape the suffocating 
smoke. 'Not infrequently when some particularly jolly company was as- 
sembled some mischievous chap would play the same trick, having first ob- 
structed the exit. Then he would volunteer good advice to the smothering 
prisoners. Sometimes we were wakened in the morning by smoke as dense 
as if the entire establishment were on fire. It was only an attempt to start 
the first blaze of the day. The remonstrative demonstrations of the boys at 
this unseasonable act were however as varied and as universal as the pro- 
ceedings of a mad-house. 

Soon after we were domiciled here the Johnnies woke to the fact that the 
troops opposite them had been relieved, some of their special acquaintances 
being missing. One day, during an artillery duel, a reb inquired what 
organization the Union pickets belonged to. They were told the Seventh 
Rhode Island. At that moment a cannon ball from Fort Sedgwick passed 
dangerously near him. He promptly ducked his head, and a moment later 
asked who was firing those shots. Upon being informed that it was the 
Seventh (reference being made to the Seventh Maine Battery), he called a 




Gilbert M. Barber. 
Jesse W.Barbei. 
Joseph H. Holbrook. 
Sergt. Alfred Fiak. 



Stephen A. Clark. Benjamin W. Burgess. Thomas R. Kenyon. 

Albert Stone. Calvin R. Mathewson. Sergt. John K. Tower. 

William A. Coman. Corp. William Fav. Corp. Charles F. Chase. 

Corp. Emery J. Arnold. Nicholas W. Mathewson. Sergt. John Z. Lowell. 



LIFE IN FORT HELL AND ELSEWHERE. 277 

comrade from an adjoining post and cautioned him saying, ^^That Yankee 
raiment over there has all kinds of gnns." 

One day a twelve-pounder shell came from Fort Mahone toward Fort 
Hell. It struck the ground in front of the fort, then just cleared the sand 
bags on the front parapet, and, descending, struck in the roadbed within the 
fort just east of the large bombproof. Here with a terrible thump it scooped 
out a ten-foot trough in the hard clay, when, again rising, it struck the cook- 
house of Company O, in which chanced to be the co(ric. Daddy Stone, and two 
other men engaged in preparing supper. Entering obliquely, just below the 
top log, it smashed two or three boxes of hard-tack that happened to be in its 
path, jammed up a number of camp kettles and mess pans, making a fearful 
din, pasted out through the rear end near the ridgepole, scaled the reverse 
parapet, and, finally, exploded over the swamp beyond. It left the shebang 
full of rubbish and thick-settling dust. The occupants made a hasty exit. 
Stone remarking to the gathering spectators that he wanted no more re- 
cruits like that, they ate too much hard-tack. Great was the wonderment 
expressed as the wreck was viewed that none were injured. 

Joe Simmons was a Hebrew, who kept a sutler's tent just back of the 
fort. He brought from Baltimore a gaunt, long armed, long-haired Israelite 
who was nicknamed Mosby, because of his fancied resemblance to that 
guerilla chieftain. One day when Joe was away, the artillerists took a fancy 
to indulge in a little target practice upon their opposites. The mortar 
batteries also participated, and shells flew thick and fast everywhere. Sud- 
denly one from a sixty-four pounder plunged down directly in front of the 
entrance to the sutler's quarters and exploded in the ground. The conse- 
quent upheaval almost buried Mosby, who dug out, and scraped out, and then 
ran for the rear at his best speed, thoroughly frightened and completely de- 
moralized. On another occasion, during one of the quiets regular, daily 
afternoon bomibardments, a similar shell fell directly in front of Colonel 
Daniels's bombproof. It buried itself fully four feet in the ground, and 
then exploded, tearing down the colonel's front door and well dusting every- 
thing for yards around. At still another time, when the "Whicher, whicher, 
whichers," were flying promiscuously around, and the boys were squatting 
close to the "Flanker" watching their coming, there was a sudden, strange 
commotion among them, followed by a loud shout. It seems one of the 
fellows had placed in the bottom of his messmates' pipe (who by the way 
was a redheaded Irishman), a small quantity of powder and then fllled it 
with tobacco. The owner was quietly puffing away keeping his weather 
eye, however, upon the falling shells, when oflf went the pipe with a "zip" that 
almost knocked him down. Of course, for a moment he thought it was 



278 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

"good-by Pat," but, after a little reflection, he concluded his corpse was 
lively enough to whip the fellow that played that trick. To prevent being 
covered with the dust that was driven through our log ceilings at every 
shell explosion, we made a canopy of our disused tent cloth, and thus were 
measurably protected therefrom. 

One morning, Lieut. William B. Lapharn^ commanding the field artillery 
in the fort, noticed a stranger spying around, and concluded it was best 
to watch him. He was short in stature, dark as to complexion, and sported 
a black moustache. He prowled around inspecting everything until the 
rebs dropped a large shell near by. This was quickly followed by another, 
when the visitor ceased his wanderings, and, sought refuge in the lieuten- 
ant's bombproof. Here he spent the greater part of the day for the bombard- 
ment was long-continued. He proved to be very social and was replete 
with anecdotes, and, hence, his stay was much enjoyed. It transpired 
he was no stranger to the army, as he was the inimitable caricaturist of 
Harper's Weekly, Thomas Nast, then on a professional tour, filling his port- 
folio with sketches along the lines. 

Pleasant evenings the brigade bands of the army enlivened, with their 
music, the camps well to the rear. The men at the extreme front equally 
enjoyed the music, even though it was more distant. The band which came 
out with the Ninth New Hampshire was a special favorite, all its members 
being skilled musicians. It was stationed just behind us, near Fort Davis, 
and was no further from the rebel pickets than was their own. Prom us 
the two were equidistant. The latter belonged to Wemyss's brigade of 
Mahone's division, and was led by one Haguerdon, who had been in the 
United States naval service. He had received tempting offers from differ- 
ent commanders, but he remained immovable until Lee's surrender, when 
he went to New York. His pay was from a fund raised by private sub- 
scription, and the band instruments were the private property of Company 
C, Twelfth Virginia Regiment, enlisted in Petersburg. Almost nightly the 
enlivening strains of "Dixie," and the swelling harmonies of "Home Sweet 
Home," came from over the lines, when ours responded with "John Brown's 
Body," and "Auld Lang Syne." Evidently the former did not suit the John- 
nies, for their pickets would respond with jeers and that derisive song : 

^^ Vd rather be a rebel riding on a rail, 
Than to be a Lincolnite and guard a nigger jail.^^ 

Never have I so keenly appreciated music as on those evenings passed 
midway between those monster camps, where I had the benefit of both con- 
certs. I well remember one occasion when the bands played an hour or 



LIFE IN FORT HELL AND ELSEWHEBE. 279 

more as if in rivalry. The Yankees rendered "The Star Spangled Banner," 
and cheers rose from thousands of throats in onr camps. The Confederates 
followed with "The Bonnie Blue Flag," which was greeted with cheers from 
their ranks. At last our band struck up "The Girl I Left Behind Me." For 
a minute there was silence across the way ; then that band caught up the 
strain ,and together they played it to the end. Then with common impulse 
cheer upon cheer came from both camps, while the pickets, throwing caution 
to the winds, stood up and shouted together. Then the mortars commenced 
firing and our attention was diverted from music to personal safety. Quite 
recently an Ex-Confederate wrote me, that I must still remember that mis- 
erable old mortar of ours that we used on their brigade band whenever it 
played "Dixie." 

One pleasant afternoon when all was quiet along the lines, the brigade 
band came into the fort to please and cheer its garrison. The initial num- 
ber on the programme was a soul-stirring national air that immediately 
brought out all the men, who formed a large and most appreciative audience 
around the performers. The musicians did their very best, playing as for a 
prize, and the applause was correspondingly enthusiastic. It was pro- 
longed until the second number was taken up. This proved to be that uni- 
versal favorite, "Listen to the Mocking Bird." The second brace was barely 
reached when the rebel mortar battery opened vigorously and the air was in- 
stantly filled with eight-inch shells. The explosion of the first stopped the 
music suddenly. The band men seemed to have lost all their wind simul- 
taneously. Then with one consent they broke for the rear faster than any 
such crowd vacated any place amid shouts from the audience to "Look out 
for the mocking birds," the last word being curiously and pointedly empha- 
sized. That was the only time I ever knew a band to be in that vicinity. 

It was a custom of the cooks late at night to visit the well just outside 
the stockade entrance and fill their camp kettles for the next morning's cof- 
fee. It chanced on a certain bright moonlight night the well-known and 
popular comrade George C. Beckford, who at that time was cook for an 
ofScers' mess, went out with his kettle at the weird hour of eleven p. m. 
Near the top of the slope up from the well were some scattered graves. Now 
just as this man had raised his filled kettle to the well fiooring he chanced to 
glance toward the graves, and there he saw or thought he saw a ghost looking 
over one of the wooden headboards. As he had been a sailor, this was too 
much for him. He dropped his kettle, rushed back to the fort and to his 
quarters, threw himself upon his bunk, drew his blanket over his head and 
never again went outside the fort after dark. But there is another side to 
George C. Beckford. In the Spring of 1862 he arrived in Liverpool after 



280 SBVENTH RHODE ISLAOT) INFANTRY. 

a three yeara' voyage. Pinning a small flag, the "Stars and Stripes," to his 
collar, he went ashore and made his way to one of the haunts of seafaring 
men. On entering he was greeted with a jeering reference to the colors he 
wore. His indignation was at once aroused, and, sailor-like, he was ready 
to resent the insult. "Hold on, shipmate," exclaimed the keeper, "I see you 
are not posted. The United States have all gone to pieces. They are fight- 
ing each other and the flag you carry is a thing of the past." He took the 
flag from his collar and sat down and cried. All at once an impulse seized 
him, and, holding the sacred emblem aloft in both his hands, meanwhile 
steadfastly gazing thereon, he apostrophized it : "Under your folds I was 
born. As a boy I grew to manhood beneath your protection. I have trav- 
eled the world over and have never for a moment had but one thought con- 
cerning you. If need be I will die for you !" He returned at once to his 
ship, settled his accounts and next day sailed for New York. During the 
ensuing three eventful years he never faltered. 

When the Ninth Corps was assigned to this part of the line, cold weather 
had just set in. The Union picket was stationed in an irregular, narrow 
ditch some twenty inches in depth, wet and muddy in places, and affording 
but slight protection from the weather and the enemy, though the displaced 
earth had all been thrown on the exposed or defensive side. It connected 
a succession of fortifled picket posts or crescent-shaped rifle pits, or, as our 
men termed them:, horseshoe pits, separated by intervals of from seventeen 
to twenty paces. These were built higher, strengthened with head logs, 
fascines and gabiond,and,at a convenient height, were topped with sand bags 
between which were left small spaces or loopholes for muskets. They were 
sufficiently large to shield three or four men, but were uncovered. This 
style of protection extended to and beyond Fort Eice on our right, but on 
our left just beyond where our line broke off to the rear, the protecting 
trench between the pits was not continued. From time to time the location 
of the line and pits in certain places was slightly changejl. 

The length of our brigade picket line was 1,581 paces, with eighty-flve 
posts, or pits, guarded by eight commissioned officers and 333 men. In num- 
bers the rebel pickets about equaled our own. Sometimes the force on 
either side was perceptibly diminished for a day or two, while at other times 
it was noticeably increased. We faced to the north, and hence were meas- 
urably protected from the storms while securing the full benefit of the sun- 
shine. Of course, the reverse obtained with our immediately opposing foes. 
The line was kept in good repair, though there were inflexible, standing 
orders on both sides not to permit the enemy to do any work. If necessary 
all available artillery must be used to prevent it. Each man knew what the 




UNION PICKET LINE IN FRONT OF FORT SEDGWICK, APRIL 2, 1865. 




VIEW OF SAME LOCATION, OCTOBER, 1892. 



LIFE IN FORT HELL AKD ELSEWHERE. 281 

inevitable consequence wonid be should he be seen in posseflsion of a pick or 
a shoveL When repairs were executed the tools were secured after dark 
from the fort and returned as soon as nsed. Immediately upon onr occu- 
pation each pit was sniBcientlj enlarged to afford space for a cheerful fire 
which had become a necessity, and the trench was improved. Here we stood 
and watched the enemy beneath a murky sky, or steady rain, or a blizzard, 
or a simple hurricane, seldom beneath mild Virginia sunlight. Our own 
detail occupied five posts, one being directly on the Jerusalem Plank Boad 
where the officer in charge was stationed. It was larger, stronger, and 
better supplied with fuel. Unquestionably it was the first established on 
this part of our lines, being the point most accessible to the foe. We also 
manned one post west of the road and three east. The first post beyond our 
left and hence the second from the road in that direction was nearer than 
any other to the rebel pickets. It was directly opposite the ruins of Mr. 
Gregory's chimney, and the distance between the two lines at this point 
was just one hundred and fifty-eight feet. From that post the men often 
threw across a haversack full of hard-tack, and, in a short time, it would be 
returned in the same way, its contents having been replaced with three or 
four generous plugs of tobacco. 

The Confederate picket officer occupied the first post west of the road 
and was adjacent to the ruins of the chimney which afforded some shelter 
from the north winds. It was between the two officers' posts that the ex- 
change of newspapers and trinkets was effected. Our men often visited ad- 
joining pickets, but never engaged in commercial communication at such 
times. Visitors to Port Sedgwick seldom extended their trip to the out- 
posts. There was no particular restraint upon their so doing, but consider- 
able danger of the non-acceptance of their presence by the rebels, who 
might be doubtful of the strictly legitimate character of their business, and 
who might promptly inform them that their visit was unwelcome and might 
be brought to a fatal conclusion. During a furious artillery combat 
Lieutenant Enox, commanding Battery 20, came out on the picket line, the 
better to observe the effect of the shells from his mortars. He was noticed 
by a Confederate major of picket, who politely informed Lieutenant Knox 
that he had no business out there, and that he had better leave if he knew 
when he was well off. 

Por the entertainment and edification of the rebel pickets our men in- 
dulged in wrestling and boxing matches, foot races, leapfrog, etc. Then they 
in turn gave us an exhibition of their proficiency and skill in the same sports 
which we greatly enjoyed. One of our men served as referee for their games, 
and one of theirs for ours. Not infrequently they would be entertaining 



282 . SEVENTH KHODE ISLAND INFANTKT. 

each other in fine style, while high above their heads a fierce artillery duel 
would be in progress between the opposing batteries on the main line. At 
such times jeers and yells from both sides greeted a wild shot. 

Looking back on those days, sports seem to have had periodic seasons 
of fashion. Some one would be started, would increase in popularity and 
then fall gradually into disuse only to be revived at a subsequent date. 
They ebbed and flowed like the tide, but with unequal regularity. One of 
our men frequently posed as a pretentious dancing-master, producing a 
decided sensation among our neighbors in gray. On this account partly, 
and partly because it was a spot upon which the artillery frequently ex- 
pended a generous quantity of ammunition the ground between the trip- 
wire arrangement and the picket line was designated the "ball room." 
Rival athletes here took position for the entertainment of their foes. 

In our camps wood was used for fuel, in the rebel, coal ; on the picket 
lines of both, the former. One cold day by mutual agreement a party from 
each side met between the lines, cut down two trees that had been left stand- 
ing near the site of the Gregory mansion and quietly divided the wood, each 
carrying away his share with him. Good feeling prevailed almost always. 
During a certain pretentious dispute a Confederate threw a piece of brick 
and unintentionally hit one of our men, who instantly shouted back, "Fight 
fair!" 

Among the pickets were rival professional blackguards. Surrounded 
by groups of comrades each vied with his neighbor in the attempt to out-talk 
his opponent. The respective groups united in the applause of any success- 
ful effort. Many of their sallies, however, were not adapted to ears refined. 
We requested the rebels to observe what an easy job it was to remain there 
day after day to watch loafing cowards that claimed to be brave Confederate 
soldiers. On the other hand, as if to remind us of their inferior numbers 
and their superior soldierly qualities, a Johnny shouted over to us one morn- 
ing : You 'uns are five to one of us, but you 'uns can't lick we'uns !" "Yes ! 
that's so," replied our spokesman, "six of our men chased one of you fellows 
up in the valley a long time before they got him." Another morning a fel- 
low shouted over to us: "Won't you send some more of your colored 
brothers into another mine." One of our men once inquired : "Hello ! over 
there! you have not got your regimentals on, how's that?" "Oh, well !" was 
the reply, "we don't put on our best suits when we go out to kill hogs !" 
The questioner's comrades laughed until they nearly fell. We sang pa- 
triotic songs to our foes who listened with evident curiosity, and sometimes 
with disgust. When we gave them "We'll hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple 
tree," a chorus of Confederates loudly retorted : 



LIFE IN FOBT HELL AND ELSEWHERE. 283 

'' Jeff Dayis is a President, 
Abe Lincoln is a fool ; 
Jeff Davis rides a dark bay horse, 
Abe Lincoln rides a mule/* 

When they had exhausted their arguments they wonld kindly ask what 
state we were from, who our commanders were, what campaigns they had 
been engaged in, and who were their opponents in certain engagements, ob- 
serving that whoever they were they never knew when they were whipped. 

Each man was deeply interested in informing his adversary concerning 
his manner of life and the quality of his provisions. One frosty morning 
a rebel picket noted the steaming hot coflfee served by the cook to our detail, 
and eagerly asked concerning its flavor. The bluecoat at once broke forth 
in ecstatic adulation of its superior flavor. (This was merited, for no coflfee 
could be purchased through the entire North that excelled it, and not a few 
men made an honest ( ?) penny during the later years of the war by following 
up our armies in the field, gathering from the earth the grounds the soldiers 
had thrown away after slightly steeping, and, after cleansing and drying, re- 
selling it for the fresh, pure article.) Johnny in turn commenced praising 
his "breakfast bacon." Said he, "What do you think of that?" as he held 
up for our observation and inspection a shining piece of oily meat to verify 
his assertions. "I think," replied our man, "that such meat is too hard to 
masticate. My stomach could not grapple with it. The best you can do 
with it is to grease yourselves with it and slide back into the Union." 
Johnny did not take kindly to this suggestion. He defiantly placed himself 
in a scoiBng attitude, tipped his head to one side, thumbed his nose at us, 
ran out his tongue, volunteered a vast amount of new information concern- 
ing our pedigree, and concluded with a series of vulgar invectives refinement 
does not recognize. He said they called it Nassau bacon, because blockade 
runners from that port brought it into the Confederacy. Through exchange 
we secured a specimen. We called it Nausea bacon, because after chewing 
it from breakfast until noon we were utterly unable to swallow it. Chew- 
ing only increased its bulk. When a slice was suspended from a corner it 
would double its length. Elasticity was its only redeeming feature. It 
was useless for cooking purposes, as it proved to be entirely destitute of 
grease. Its flavor was repulsive and wonderfully penetrative. It had 
apparently been saturated with tar while running the blockade. Johnny 
informed us that they had been stuck for weeks on this lot of bacon. We 
nicknamed this Johnny, "Growley." 

The rebel commissariat never distributed bread to the soldiers, but 
issued flour and corn meal, which they were exx>ected to mix with water and 



284 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

bake for themBelves. We saw many of the reuniting speoimens. Any of 
them would sink a man if eaten before bathing. It sonred in a very short 
time. 

One day the spokesman for our side asked a reb if he had perfected his 
plans for next season, and, if so, what they were. Johnny promptly replied 
that his plans for next summer were not yet a certainty, but he confidently 
exx)ected, that between two days while the Federal oflScers were sobering off, 
he would leave those parts, enjoy the usual annual trip over the Manassas 
plains, continue up through the Shenandoah Valley, bathe in the Potomac, 
stroll about Maryland and Pennsylvania, gather supplies for the next winter 
and return with them to the vicinity of the Rappahannock and the Bapidan, 
in season to erect comfortable winter quarters before cold weather set in. 
Then Johnny propounded the same conundrum to his interrogator. My 
friend replied that he intended to leave there very early some morning, when 
the persimmon and peach trees were blown out, come over in the darkness 
with a rush and chase all the Johnnies out of their defenses, give them such 
a licking as they had never received and then return home and be discharged. 
Johnny emphatically resented the possibility of such a plan's working at all, 
yet the prophecy proved true. 

One quiet day a stray dog made his appearance on the picket line be- 
yond Fort Bice. Some one fastened an empty oyster can to its tail and 
started it on the run toward Fort Sedgwick. He enjoyed a free, full, and 
exclusive right of way. On he came, in long flying leaps with ears flapping 
and can banging. The cheers of the starters attracted the attention of 
both lines. All eyes were instantly focussed upon the oncoming canine. 
Each man was transfixed to the spot on which he stood. For a moment 
only were they silent, and then Yank and reb alike, throwing hostility and 
caution to the winds jumped upon the works, and vied with each other in the 
bestowment of pet names, praises, and suggestions, in tender inquiries as to 
where he was from and whither bound, as well as in encouraging mention- 
ings of the favorable prospects of his timely arrival at the intended goal. 
Never did any dog have such an audience as this, limitless as it was in num- 
bers, enthusiastic and thoroughly appreciative. But none of these things 
disturbed him. He swerved neither to the right nor to the left until he had 
passed from sight. We never saw him again. For all I know he's going 
yet. 

On Friday, Sept. 16, 1864, the rebs raided and surprised the garrison 
at Coggins Point, a steamboat landing on the south side of James Biver, 
ten miles below City Point. They took back with them 2,486 cattle, 300 
men with their horses, 200 mules, 32 wagons, and a telegraph construction 





Sergt. Amos A. Lillibridge. 



Sergt. Jesse Carr. 




Palmer G. Perkins. 
Elisha M. Palmer. 



James Kendall. 
Benjamin Peckliam. 



Joseph W. Burdick 
Benjamin F. Sisson. 



Isaac N. Saunders. 
George B. Sunderland. 



LIFE IK FORT HELL AND ELSEWHERE. 285 

corps of forty men with twenty miles of wire. For quite a while after this 
occurrence, whenever we tried to introduce ourselves to their attention in 
a social way, they would a8seml>le in groups and respond by imitating the 
lowing and bellowing of cattle. They concluded with laughter and remarks 
on our evident mortification and disgust, all of which we keenly felt. 

A little later Uncle Sam received reliable information of the collection 
at Fredericksburg of a large quantity of tobacco for shipment over the 
border. At once a suitable detachment was sent there with a steamer, which 
seized and removed it, when it was duly confiscated. On account of the 
success attending these raids they were kept well in mind by the soldiers 
on both Bides. One morning soon after the usual salutations had been 
exchanged, the rattling sound of a drum was heard in the hostile camp, and 
our spokesman was thereby induced to inquire what all the racket was about. 
''It means," said Johnny, ''that our boys are feasting on the juicy beef and 
picking the bones of the cattle they run oflf from Coggin's Point." The rebs 
greatly enjoyed the situation for an hour or two, when a similar cause 
elicited the same inquiry from Johnny, who thought us at a loss for a 
parallel response. Instantly the reply hurled back : "That is Grant's army 
chewing Fredericksburg tobacco." The spectators on both lines burst into 
hilarious laughter; the attitudes they assumed could not be improved upon 
by a small boy in the throes of a green apple afterpiece; the men actually 
hugged themselves, and the joker chuckled at the success of his sally. The 
artillery soon opened a furious cannonade, however, and broke up the fun. 

During my visit to Petersburg, in 1887, Mr. J. F. Mcllvaine, who at 
that time owned a farm and resided within the Confederate lines, told me 
he met the returning raiders with their various prizes while on his way 
from Petersburg to his home. He said : "I will never forget the exultant ap- 
pearance of the troops, nor the music with which they filled the air. It 
was a favorite boast of the Confederates after that for many a day that if 
they could feed on such beef they could whip their weight in wildcats. 

Capt. John Q. Noonan, of the Seventy-third New York, writes me that 
one day near the latter part of October, he was oiHcer of the day. The pits 
and trenches were full of water, it having rained the entire preceding night. 
About seven in the morning he started on an inspection tour along the 
picket line, there being a strict understanding between the pickets not to 
fire upon each other during the daytime. Captain Noonan wore his sash 
acrass his breast and was accompanied by the officer of the picket. Both 
stopped at intervals to explain to the men how they could bail the water out 
of the trench and the pits. While facing the enemy, and conversing with 
the corporal, looking at the same time into a pit containing much water, 



286 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

the captain took a step forward and immediately heard the report of a rebel 
rifle and a yell from the corporal. A bullet had paased through both his 
thighs; he exclainned: ''I have my furlough now!" The forward step had 
saved the captain. The Confederate pickets observing what had occurred 
swore loodly and emphatically concerning the act of the sharpshooter, and 
vowed vengeance upon him if they could get at him for violating the agree- 
ment between the pickets. A little later Captain Noonan was called to his 
breakfast. He walked to the fort obliquely across the field because of the 
water. Its cover was nearly reached when another ball from the same 
sharpshooter's rifle passed him. Once within, he summoned private Thomas 
who had won in a brigade contest a sharpshooter's rifle and duly instructed 
him. Thomas selected a position, placed his rifle on the works, waited and 
watched for a long time, but, finally, discovered his would be rival and fired. 
The Confederate pickets afterward told our pickets Thomas had done up 
their sharpshooter. At any rate our pickets never again heard from him. 

In front of Port Meikel the pickets occupied opposite slopes of a bushy 
ravine which screened them from observation as they met between the lines. 
At its head was a beautiful spring, from which, for a long time, both Tank 
and reb secured their supply of water. 

One day, just prior to the collapse of the Rebellion, and when Lieuten- 
ant Merrill was officer of the guard. General Grant was observed approach- 
ing with an orderly. As he came up, he observed the guard turning out 
to salute, when, with a motion of his hand he exclaimed : ^'Never mind the 
guard !" 

William M. Barksdale, of Bodden, Va., writes under the date of Feb. 
18, 1897, that having served for a long time as sergeant-major of Moseley's* 
battalion of light artillery, he found himself in March, 1865, with no bat- 
talion and outside all organizations. Still he was not allowed to retire, but, 
rather, permitted to rejoin his original company, Capt. E. R. Young's 
battery, which was organized in 1860, and was one of the first to enter the 
field. He found two detachments of it in position on the front line, a little 
to the left of the Jerusalem Plank Road, and immediately in front of Port 
Hell. He had been there but a week, when the general attack was made on 
the morning of April 2, 1865. He with a single comrade was on guard. 
"At eleven p. m., April 1st, three signal guns were fired, and immediately 
ensued a display of fireworks such as he had never before witnessed. Every 
mortar and cannon along the entire line was opened, and continued at work 
for several hours. However, we were ordered not to fire until the videttes 
came in. This they never did, so, at length, we began to fire and had expended 
eleven rounds, when we were captured at the point of the bayonet. The 



LIFE IN FORT HELL AND ELSEWHERE. 287 

captain and also the gunner were knocked down with clubbed muskets. 
Our captors told me that it was the first engagement they were ever in, and 
that they belonged to a Michigan regiment. I thought they were the greenest 
set I ever saw — scared to death — could not tell when we had surrendered, 
but kept up a regular fire within a few feet of us, while others were club- 
bing. I saw one Yank shoot another, and of all shouting and jumping you 
never saw the like. Their officers cursed them and ordered them to cease 
firing. I thought they would kill me, anyway, after I had surrendered, so 
I started for the trail of a gun to get the handspike which I intended to 
use as long as I could stand, but an old Dutchman caught me by the collar 
and pressed his bayonet against me, ordering me to surrender. As there 
was another fellow on my other side making the same demand, I did so 
to save my life. On the 3d, I was marched to City Point, where a boat took 
me to Point Lookout, Md., where I was detained six or eight weeks. One 
little incident occurred on the line at our position the evening before the 
general engagement, which you may rememjber, thus affording you a more 
definite idea as to where we were stationed. Our boys engaged in a big 
frolic. They took a number of blankets, put them together, placed a small 
man on them (always a negro), and, then, as many as could, caught hold of 
the border. They counted one, two, three, and then threw up the man on 
the blankets, fifteen or twenty feet, or even higher, catching him on the 
blankets as he descended. There was no sharpshooting going on; the 
Yanks were up on their works enjoying the sport as much as ourselves ; not 
a musket was in sight." 

The evening of March 6, 1865, was dark and misty. The men were 
sitting around their fires, gossiping, playing games, singing songs, or telling 
stories. Suddenly there were several unusually sharp reports of muskets in 
quick succession from the picket line, then a dozen, then twenty, then a rattle 
of musketry as if a whole regiment were in ambuscade. This last doubly 
alarmed us. Electric annunciators would not have worked more promptly 
nor more satisfactorily. Ignorant of the cause and the imminence of dan- 
ger, every man seized his musket, rushed outside and pressed on toward the 
breastworks. Each man strove in the darkness as for a prize to arrive 
there first. The crooked paths among the bombproofs were full of pitfalls, 
slopes, and projecting stumps, that increased the confusion and hindered 
progress. Almost every step was a misstep. There never seemed to be 
so many obstacles in the way. Each man's loaded musket contributed to 
the confusion, and at the first turn every man was more or less bewildered. 
Suddenly a hundred drumbeats in crashing chorus added to the din, and 
still further aroused the troops at the rear that were to be our support 



288 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

when assailed. Bugle call answered bngle call thronghont that long line of 
camps. All was activity and animation everywhere. A deafening roar and 
a blinding flash of the first gun for an instant lit the scene, and almost 
seared my eyeballs through the closed lids. Men pressed against those 
in front of them, stumbled upon or fell across those already down or at- 
tempting to gain their footing, temporarily lost their bearings and inquired 
where they were. Prayers and profanity participated in dangerous asso- 
ciation and rivalry, while most solemn vows were pledged to avoid such 
a situation thereafter. Comrades asked the identity of their partners, 
and, ascertaining, commented in words beginning with capitals. One fellow 
attempting for a third time to get upon his feet and remembering the fre- 
quency of these thrilling alarms (on an average twice a week), exclaimed: 
"This sort of thing is getting played out." Ere we reached the parapet rebel 
shells were playing into the fort, knocking down chimneys, and bounding 
among the bombproofs, while against the slopes reverse works crashed their 
solid shot. From almost every point of the compass projectiles of all 
sorts hissed over our heads. In almost a continual stream great jets of 
blinding, white fire, as large as a railroad train, burst outward through our 
embrasures and leaped across the field, while, just as this grew dim, the 
bursting meteoric brilliancy of the exploding missile could be discerned, 
relieving its dense expanding volume of snow-white smoke against the 
black heaven above the rebel works, and hurling its shrieking fragments 
into midnight obscuration to hunt out and destroy men and mutilate their 
corpses until they could not be recognized as human. Batteries that for 
days had spoken only by a single piece and then at irregular intervals, 
thundered a deadly chorus to the sharp ring of rifles. The clicking of gun- 
locks now ran along the entire line. Gun barrels were thrust over the 
parapet. All eyes had peered into the darkness to discover the moving mass 
of suspected assailants. All ears were strained to catch the sound of their 
footsteps. Vain was the effort though a perfect blizzard of bullets was 
breaking over the fort, splashing dust into our faces as we glanced over 
the parapet. The tumult was now raging with appalling vigor. Each suc- 
ceeding reverberation sounded louder and louder. The guns, at length, were 
served so fast that all reports blended into one mighty roar. In quick, 
irregular succession, huge mortar shells rose from Fort Sedgwick, describ- 
ing at varying rate lofty far-reaching fiery arcs, the burning fuse, throwing 
off a stream of fire as large aa one's arm and ten feet in length. When full 
altitude had been attained it turned, and downward rushed with terrifically 
increasing speed, until explosion occurred, or it had buried itself deep in 
mother earth, only to play the part of a young volcano. As the cannon at 



LIFE IN FOBT HELL AKD ELSEWHEBE. 289 

our rear hnrled death over our heads into the enemy's works beyond ns, 
we found ourselves, indeed, b^irt with blazing terraces, and, as the rising 
smoke about us beautifully reflected every flash of guns within the fort, 
we seemed to be sinking into a fiery chasm. Anon, the men gathered in 
groups, and, leaning on their muskets, watched the guns plying their bloody 
trade, shredding life and limb away. Each became transfixed at the tre- 
mendous spectacle, and yet not so rigidly but that whole groups would 
duck their heads simultaneously as a shot came tearing along the ramparts 
dangerously near. Beneath the swell and crash of this mighty orchestra 
of war there was a strain of music in the fearful din that i)erfectly accorded 
with the scene and with the hour, and men lost all sense of danger. My 
own thoughts had become centered in the familiar and graphic delineation 
of the tragic fate of Lawrence as he exclaimed : "Don't give up the ship !" 
when I was suddenly startled into a realizing sense of my surroundings 
by the shock of a rebel solid shot that plunged into the parapet near us, 
and hurled a cartload of gravel upon us, painfully cutting our faces. 

The tumult subsided somewhat before daylight. Then only at irregular 
intervals billowy masses of pearly white smoke rolled into the bright sun- 
shine as a gun boomed out from one of the great salients, and the echo lazily 
died away. When we were dismissed from further duty at the breastworks, 
to satisfy my irrepressible curiosity as to what of interest was to be seen 
in the vicinity of the batteries, I started on a tour of investigation, reaching 
first the Seventh Maine. Their cooling, smirched, brass pieces were quiet, 
but black, steaming, offensive powder-slime was dripping from the de- 
pressed muzzle of each. The embrasures were soot-stained, the fascines 
lining them had been badly burned by the rapid discharge of the guns. The 
weary, waiting cannoneers with faces and hands grimed with powder, were 
lounging around half asleep. A light was burning in the magazine, and the 
attendant was at the entrance waiting another call for ammunition. As I 
wore a figure 7 in my cap I was recognized as one of the garrison of Fort 
Hell by a man who had a pent-up stock of vengeance to let loose upon the 
perpetrator of the outrage, as he termed the night's excitement, and he 
accosted me: "Say! did the Seventh kick up that big row last night?" I 
replied that I was ignorant as himself as to how it started. Passing 
them and an infantry parapet I came to the Parrott guns of the 
Third New Jersey Battery. It had been the first to cease firing and 
the pieces were neatly cleaned. The waiting gun detachments were watch- 
ing the mortar battery beyond, which was still firing eight-inch shells at the 
rate of twenty an hour, though it was broad daylight. All around these 
batteries the ground had been pierced by rebel mortar shells, whose ex- 

19 



290 SEVBKTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY, 

plosion left huge funnel-shaped holes. Every foot of ground between the 
picket line and the main line exhibited bnllet farrows, yet strangely enough 
nowhere along that line was a single dead or severely wounded person to 
be found. On picket the smoke and mud-smirched, watching, weary veterans 
were leaning on their muskets and exchanging inquiries with the foe, or 
reading a newspaper just secured by swapping, or gazing silently at the 
great procession of fleecy, white clouds sweeping across the firmament 
But at one point, nearly in front of the mortar battery, there was a notice- 
able commotion among the pickets on both sides. Their attention seemed 
to be centered on an object between the lines, and it was obvious they were 
engaged in conversation, though their speech was inaudible. The com- 
mander of the battery raised his field-glass to his eyes, and, after closely 
scrutinizing, remarked: "That moving object on the ground between the 
picket lines is a disabled bird." It proved to be a wounded goose. All 
day long the poor suffering bird lay there flapping about, the pickets mean- 
while, fruitlessly discussing the securement and division of the prize. Next 
morning it was missing. Some venturesome reb knows all about its dis- 
appearance. 

Early in the day a messenger came in from the picket line, and told us 
a flock of wild geese came along the evening before, flying very low and 
making considerable noise. As they whirled in a circle overhead and cried 
their peculiar "Yank, Yank," some reb shouted: "Yank, let's shoot those 
geese!" "All right, Johnny!" was the reply, and both sides blazed away. 
As the screeching, bewildered birds continued to whirl in circles close over- 
head, the men yelled and shot not once, but twice, and thrice, and whooped 
in chorus. While these fellows were enjoying their sport the men in the 
main works naturally presumed, for a time at least, that an attack had been 
commenced, and an earnest conflict opened when the first cannon was dis- 
charged. Then the pickets ceased their firing. 

Since the war a CJonfederate battery commander has told me the 
troops of Gen. Henry A. Wise, a Virginia brigade, were in the habit of 
worrying him, and, on this occasion, the alarm they inaugurated produced 
the desired effect at the general's expense. Strangely enough the paymaster 
was on a professional visit to us that^night, and his anxiety over his chest 
of greenbacks was much enjoyed by the soldiers. 




THE WOUNDED FLAGS. 



The wounded fla^s ! How proudly 

They fluttered m the days 
When drums were thrumming loudly 

And fifes sang warring lays ! 



How brave was all their glowing 
Where fierce the war-^ns spoke ! 

Their stars forever showmg, 
A beacon through the smoke ! 



CHAPTER XIII. 

Thb Color Guard. 

THE post of honor is the post of danger. To be entrusted with the 
carriage of the standard, at once the guide of a regiment and its 
rallying point, is the highest testimonial an enlisted man can receive 
from his commander for courage, fidelity, steadiness, streng^, and martial 
bearing. Those, also, to whom are assigned its especial defense, likewise 
are selected for their adaptation to succeed to that high office at a moment's 
notice. Meet it is, therefore, to pause and consider the fate of those who 
accepted this responsibility, though well aware death was full often the 
price of the honor. 

Frederick Weigand, of Company K, was the first color sergeant, and to 
him was confided, Oct. 13, 1862, the little flag purchased by Company D, in 
Baltimore on the 12th of the preceding month. His guard consisted of 
Corps. John Bassett Stoothoff, Samuel F. Simpson, Joseph Marcoux, and 
Charles L. Porter. When the Providence flag was received, the Fredericks- 
burg flag, as it was ever after designated, serving in place of a State flag, 
was transferred to Simpson, who was promoted one grade, while the for- 
mer, being the regulation color, was placed in the hands of Weigand. On 
Jan. 7, 1863, the latter was promoted to be second lieutenant. Accord- 
ingly, his co-equal assumed his duties, at the same time passing over his 
own priceless treasure to Stoothoflf. When Sergeant Simpson was killed 
at North Anna River, Va., May 25, 1864, the Providence flag was placed in 
the hands of Sergeant Stoothoflf, while that which he had been carrying was 
confided to Corp. Orlando Smith, both of whom safely returned their charge 
to the State authorities at home. The latter had been attached to the color 
guard at Camp Mud. Sergeant Simpson had frequently remarked that 
he had been a private in Capt. John B. Magruder's battery in the Mexican 
War, when Stonewall Jackson was a lieutenant, and that if he became a 
prisoner, he hoped Jackson would be his captor, as they formerly had been 
good friends. 

Joseph Marcoux, a French Canadian, tall, slim, and dark complexioned. 



292 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

was mortally wounded at Fredericksburg, Dec. 13, 1862, and died at George- 
town, D. C, Jan. 10, 1863. 

Charles L. Porter was made a sergeant at Newport News, Va., March, 
1863, and returned to his company. The next month he was made orderly 
sergeant at Richmond, Kentucky. 

John Simpson was early appointed to the guard, but improved the 
opportunity to desert, afforded by a furlough dated Falmouth, Va., Jan. 
24, 1863. His place was filled by Isaac Nye, who faithfully served until he 
was mortally wounded at Spottsylvania, May 18, 1864, dying. May 30th, at 
one of the military hospitals in Alexandria, Va. He was succeeded by 
Patrick Hackett, who was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps, Aug. 
6, 1864. 

Charles H. Bishop was also assigned to the guard at an early date, but 
he has been missing since Dec. 16, 1862, and is considered a deserter. 
Timothy Bridgehouse took his place, but he was disabled by disease when 
in Mississippi, and sent to the hospital at Camp Dennison, Ohio; he died 
Sept. 15, 1863, of typhoid fever; Charles E. Dennis, originally of Company 
B, succeeded him, but he, also, was obliged to go to a hospital on his re- 
turn from Mississippi, and never again was enrolled in the guard. 

Benjamin A. Wilson was placed on the guard upon his return to the 
regiment after convalescence from wounds received at Fredericksburg. He 
was severely wounded in the leg at Spottsylvania, May 12, 1864, and never 
returned to the regiment, being discharged from a hospital in West Phila- 
delphia a year and five days later. Alfred H. Enowles was at once as- 
signed to the vacancy, with which responsibilities he was well acquainted, 
having discharged its duties on former occasions. For a considerable period 
he served in place of George T. Batchelder, who was disabled while on the 
color guard in Mississippi. 

Jesse Carr was detailed to fill a vacancy immediately after Fredericks- 
burg. At Lexington, Ky., he was made a sergeant, and returned to his 
company. 

The date of Thomas Kenan's assignment to the colors is not known, 
but certainly it was early. In July, 1863, he, also, was made a sergeant, 
and returned whence he came. John T. Murphy succeeded him, but, though 
wounded a number of times, continued steadfast to the end. 

Daniel B. Sherman, killed at Spottsylvania, May 18, 1864, had served 
for a long time with the colors; William S. Quinlan took his place and held 
it to the close of the war. 

When Charles D. Spooner first joined the guard is unknown, but he 
was a prominent member, and served a very considerable time. While thus 




COLOR SERGEANT SAMUEL F. SIMPSON. 



THE COLOR GUARD. 293 

occupied, he was detached for special duty, May 1, 1864, while at Alexandria, 
but returned juBt prior to the battle of Weldon Railroad. Thereafter, he 
remained with the flags. 

Robert Banning served with the color guard during the last year of 
the war; June 16, 1864, he was slightly wounded before Petersburg, by a 
bullet that penetrated, more or less deeply, his album, Bible, and watch. 

Nathan B. Lewis was attached to the guard on divers occasions. Volun- 
tarily, though by request, he performed such duty a considerable portion 
of the time subsequent to his appointment as regimental postmaster, Jan. 
24, 1864. He was standing within three or four feet of Sergeant Simpson 
when he was shot. 

Aaron B. Warfield was, for a time, connected with the guard. Subse- 
quently he was promoted to a sergeancy in his own company. 

Manuel Open was killed at Spottsylvania, May 18, 1864. It is unknown 
when he became a member. 

William Fay was appointed to the guard soon after Spottsylvania. It 
is unknown when he left the regiment, but he was transferred to the Veteran 
Reserve Corps Jan. 15, 1865. He died in the summer of 1898. 

Edward L. Enowles is said to have been attached to the guard for a 
time. 

All held the rank of corporal save as otherwise specified. Of the twenty- 
six known to have been detailed to this service at various times, five were 
killed and three wounded, one of whom was hit a number of times. 

Under general orders of the War Department, the Seventh Regiment 
w€ts directed to have emblazoned on its ensign the names of the following 
battles in which it had borne a meritorious part : 

Fredericksburg, Cold Harbor, 

Siege of Vicksburg, Petersburg, 

Jackson, Weldon Railroad, 

Spottsylvania, Poplar Spring Church, 

North Anna, Hatcher's Run. 



Note.— When the flag^s were photographed for insertion In this yolome it was found that the staff of 
the flrst national standard ieoei?ed from the North bean a plate on which are the words, " From the 
Ladies of Proyidence.'* This remoyee eyery doubt as to whence it came. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

From Pbtebsburo to Providence. 
April 24 — July 17, 1865. 

MONDAY, 24th. Column was formed at six a. m.^ and we at once 
moved via the Baxter Boad to City Point, which was reached at 
10.30. At one of our last resting places, Colonel Pleasants of the 
Pennsylvania Reserves passed by on horseback, pausing just long enough 
to express his r^rets that the Seventh had so little mercy on his sutler 
the previous noon. Tents were pitched adjacent to the railroad, and we 
commenced patiently to await jtransportation. Some forty men are re- 
turned to us from the Ninth Corps Hospital, which has just been broken 
up. In the afternoon clothing and equipments were distributed. 

Tuesday, 25th. Many of the men visit the landing and explore the 
vicinity. A regimental inspection was held at three p. m. and dress parade 
at six p. M. 

Wednesday, 26th. All are lounging around, and enjoying themselves 
as best they can, expecting an order to embark at any instant. They realize 
they are taking their last look at a section of country on which the eyes 
of the entire world has been fixed for nearly ten months. They felt the 
last link that connected them with the region of countless, thrilling ex- 
periences and recollections was soon to be severed, and, while their minds 
were filled with memories of its scenery and its mode of life, their thoughts 
gradually turned to home and kindred. Just at night we were marched on 
to the propeller Nereoas, the largest boat on the James Biver at that time. 
It was loaded with thirty-eight hundred men, one hundred and forty horses, 
all the brigade baggage, and one hundred and thirty rebel cannon. 

Thursday, 27th. The steamer cast off her moorings at four a. m., and a 
delightful sail, between the war-cursed and home-deserted banks of the 
beautiful and historic James Biver ensued. This was doubly appreciated, 
because the preceding night had been spent in its overcrowded cabin, while 
a hundred laborers were clambering about the decks, donkey engines 



FROM PETEBSBURG TO PROVIDENCE. 295 

pniBng, coal rattling, and baggage clattering. Passed Fortress Monroe 
soon after midday, and, erelong, was in the waters of Chesapeake Bay. 

Friday, 28th. Arrived at Alexandria at 3.30 p. m.^ debarked, marched 
out about two miles, and encamped on low swampy ground near the Orange 
and Alexandria Railroad. 

Saturday, 29th. Another camp ground has been selected on much 
higher ground, from which there is an extended view of the surrounding 
country. It is about the same distance from the city on the Mount Vernon 
Boad, and just beyond Fort Farnsworth. Forts Lyon, Ward, and Willard 
are near. The land is the property of Peyton Ballinger, and is called 
Mount Pleasant. (In 1892 it was owned by his son, R. W. Ballinger.) We 
are now reintroduced to regular military duty with its drills and dress 
parades, also its red tape. 

Sunday 30th. Inspection at ten a. m., followed by muster for the last 
two months' pay. 

May, 1865. 

Friday, 12th. First anniversary of Spottsylvania. Early this even- 
ing, Lloyd M. Cook, of Company C, secured some short pieces of candles, 
attached them to the projecting ends of the ridgepoles of his own and 
fseveral other tents, and then lighted them. Half an hour later all the 
camps in the vicinity were covered with dots of light, as company after com- 
pany caught the idea. Later, a number of men placed candles in the muz- 
zles of their muskets, and lighted them and commenced parading. Others 
rapidly joined them, and soon nearly every man in the Second and Third 
Divisions had thus volunteered. There was no one in authority; the move- 
ment was spontaneous. The procession marched past the headquarters of 
General Potter, then in command of the corps, and countermarched in in- 
formal review before him and a group of his friends. The display elicited 
a complimentary acknowledgment the following morning. Their route, 
also, included General Curtin's headquarters, who, with other ofiBcers, came 
forward and manifested much interest in the proceedings. 

Saturday, 13th. There has been considerable excitement over the news 
of the capture of Jeff Davis; the men went around saluting one another 
and singing : "We'll hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree !" They went to 
bed happy. 

Monday, 15th. The advance of General Sherman's army arrived to- 
day, and our boys turned out to welcome them. They lined up by the road- 
side, made complimentary inquiries, administered encouraging advice, con- 



296 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

gratulated them that the fighting is over and that all are going home^ and, 
finally, swung their caps and hurrahed all together. 

Monday, 22d. All the arrangements for a grand review of the Army 
of the Potomao to-morrow have been made. Reveille was sounded at half- 
past four. At six left camp in light marching order for Washington via 
Long Bridge. We passed through Maryland Avenue to Pennsylvania Ave- 
nue, and First Street east where we bivouacked for the night in an open 
lot just east of the capitol. All the public buildings are heavily draped in 
mourning, an immense quantity of black. Every flagstaff had its banner 
lowered. The regimental colors and the officers' sword hilts, alike, bore 
crape. Most of our letters came in envelopes widely edged with black, or 
with blackened corners, or, at least, an inky-threaded border. In the even- 
ing the streets and squares east of the capitol were the site of a vast camp. 

Tuesday, 23d. There were general preparations to form line as early 
as seven o'clock. We were surprised each ^to receive a pair of clean, white 
cotton gloves, with instructions to put them on and wear them during the 
review. At nine o'clock, after long and impatient waiting in line, the 
forward movement down the avenue from the south of the capitol b^an. 
Each window and each balcony was crowded. Even the roofs were black 
with people. Boys and young men were perched among the branches of 
the trees. In every park and open space along the line of march large 
wooden stands were erected, which were also densely packed. Mounted 
policemen dashed up and down the avenue to see that it was kept entirely 
clear. None were allowed to step off the curbstone. A strong rope on 
each side materially assisted in preserving order. As the soldiers marched 
by the men and boys shouted and cheered to the full extent of their lung 
power, until their voices failed them, the ladies waved their handkerchiefis, 
and the children continually fluttered little flags. The dignitaries at 
the main reviewing stand were the president and cabinet, Generals Grant, 
Sherman, and Halleok. General Burnside was on the opposite side of 
the street. When well past these, "double-quick" was ordered, that the 
way for the oncoming troops might be open, and we were hustled toward 
Georgetown where we recrossed the Potomao at Aqueduct Bridge, and 
thence leisurely returned to camp. The hurry of the day rendered it very 
fatiguing. Orders have been received to make out the muster-out papers as 
soon as possible. 

Wednesday, 24th. General Sherman's army is reviewed to-day. There 
is a great crowd in Washington to witness it. Both days have been a 
grand success The men seem to enjoy these new experiences. They are 
continually relating anecdotes of the review. 



FROM PETERSBURG TO PROVIDENCE. 297 

Wednesday, 3lBt. There are brigade gaard mounts and brigade dress 
parades with such frequency, that the men of late have claimed they have 
dreamed of nothing else. 

June, 1865. 

Tuesday, 6th. A number of the regiments in our brigade have been 
mustered out to-day. As yesterday was the last day of its existence as an 
organization intact, it honored at its close the oiBcer who had long, ably, and 
acceptably commanded it, with a complimentary review. To-day he issued 
the following acknowledgment: 

Hbadquabtbbs Sbd Division 9th Abmy Gobps, 
Nbab Aijbzandbia, Ya., June 6, 1805. 

To the Officers and Men af the Ui Brigade^ fnd Division 9 A. C. : 

I desire to express to you, one and all, my heartfelt appreciation of the kindly feelings 
which prompted the review of last evening. On that occasion your appearance was as 
gratifying to me as honorable to yourselves. In your movements you exhibited that true, 
soldierly bearing, which, in the field, and in the camp, has ever distinguished the soldiers 
of this brigade. In the Carolinas, in Maryland, in Kentucky, in Mississippi, in Tennessee, 
and in Virginia, your valor and heroic endurance have won for you an imperishable name. 
Victory has at length crowned your efforts and the efforts of the brave^men associated 
with you. 

In parting with you, who are about to repair to your homes, allow me to express my 
sincere thanks for the prompt and cheerful manner in which you have at all times per^ 
formed every duty while under my command. To those of you who remain, allow me to 
say, be patient ; I trust the day is not far distant when it will be possible for you, also, to 
return to your homes. Until that day arrives, let your bearing be such as not to detract 
from, but to add to your present well-earned reputation. 

As you go to your homes you will bear with you the proud consciousness of duty sue- 
•oessfully performed, and will receive from your countrymen the applause of a grateful 
people, while in all the years to come, as you revert to the scenes now so rapidly closing, it 
will be your pride to say : ^^ I fought with Bumside and the Ninth Army Corps 1 ^* There 
will be associated with all this, your part in the history of the First Brigade, Second 
Division. 

To the families of your comrades who have so nobly fallen in the defence of their 
oonntry, I tender my heartfelt sympathy. 

Official: John I. Cubtik, 

Hbkby S. Bubbaob, Bvt. Brig.-Oenl. 

Capt. and A, A. A, GenL 

Thursday, 8th. All detailed men return to the regiment. 

Friday, 9th. fThe Seventh Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers has 
been mustered out of the United States service by Lieut. E. Rose, division 
mustering officer. When are we going to start for home? 



298 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Later in the day the following order was promulgated : 

HBADqUABTBBS NiKTH AbMY OOBPS, 

Albxaitdbia, Ya., Jane 9, 1866. 
Special OrdersA j^^^^^ 
No, 39. ) 

The Seyenth Regiment Rhode Island Yolonteers, having been mustered out of service 
nnder existing orders from the War Department, will proceed without delay to ProTi- 
dence, R. I., where the Commanding Officer of the regiment will report with his command 
to the Chief Mustering Officer of the State as directed by Par. 5, G. O. No. 94, C. S. War 
Dept., A. 6. O. 

The Quartermaster's Department will furnish the necessary transportation. The trans- 
portation will be ready at the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Depot in Washington at 
8 A. M. to-morrow. 

By command of 

Bvt. Maj.-Genl. O. B. WILCOX, 

Jno. D. Butouettb, 

A8Bt A^U'OenL 

Thereupon, confusion reigned throughout the camp. Many seemed in- 
diCFerent as to what they brought away with them. They had to be re- 
minded of the probable usefulness of some neglected article. 

Saturday, 10th. iBeveille at four a. m. Line formed soon after five. 
Long before our departure representatives of high and low degree from 
neighboring camps, had come to secure whatever might prove useful to 
them. Speedily were they laden with wood, boards, boxes, tents, tins, and 
other things too numerous to mention. Some of the gatherers were n^roes, 
and a more earnest, enthusiastic gang was never seen. A few of the boys 
considered it a great joke to shout to a darky: "Drop that!" referring to 
some article he had picked up as a prize, just as if it had not been aban- 
doned, but forgotten. 

It was nearly six o'clock before we started. The Thirty-fifth Massachu- 
setts commenced their homeward journey with us. We were escorted to 
the King Street Perry by the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania, the entire column 
being headed by the brigade band. At the wharf Colonel Pleasants made 
us a very neat, good-by speech from his saddle, in reply to which the boys 
gave him and his command three rousing cheers. The band now stjrack up 
a patriotic air, and the two New England regimients marched upon the 
boat that conveyed them across the Potomac. They were now on their 
homeward journey, and deported themselves as if starting on a long picnic. 
Tet, as they approached Washington, and noted its great public buildings 
draped with acres of mourning, and surmounted with half-masted flags 



FROM PETERSBURG TO PROVIDENCE. 299 

strikingly conspicuous amid the encircling green foliage, they keenly re- 
gretted their great commander-in-chief had been cut off from the full en- 
joyment of the fruition of his toils and his anxieties, and that the country 
had been deprived of his wise leadership. Meanwhile, at the stem, was a 
group watching the shore they had just left. Suddenly, Benjamin Joslin 
lifted his cap and said: "Now boys, three cheers for Old Virginia," and 
they were given enthusiastically. Then he exclaimed: "The Lord help 
Old Virginia!" They knew full well the ruin the warjiad there wrought. 
The country was desolate, destitute alike of timber and of fences, while in 
many places even the dwellings were gone. Boads had been obliterated by 
the march of armed hosts, and where the plough had turned the furrow 
for a harvest that never was to be reaped, unsightly earthworks frowned 
upon the barren, deserted scene. Everywhere the ravages of war were 
plainly visible. Thousands of dead men lay but half-covered with the 
earth they had fought upon. Even the birds were mute, for the thunder of 
battle had driven them to the mountains. Brown, bare, and silent, those 
desolate plains bore impressive evidence of the destructive power and 
weight of contending armies. 

On reaching Washington in campaign-worn, travel-stained garments, 
the veterans marched to the Baltimore depot, where they became weary 
killing time until six p. m.^ when they boarded cars that did not leave, how- 
ever, until seven p. m. It was nearly midnight when the train reached 
Baltimore. 

Sunday, 11th. During the small hours of the morning, the raiment 
marched to the Philadelphia depot, and, at four a. m.^ its train started for 
that city. Wilmington, Del., was passed at 9.30, and our destination 
gained at noon. A good dinner and an acceptable wash was provided at 
the refreshment saloons. At one p. m. the ferry was crossed to Camden, 
which we left an hour later, and, going through Trenton, Brunswick, and 
Newark, reached Jersey City at seven p. m. We were at once taken over 
the river to New York and conducted to Castle Garden for the night. 

Monday, 12th. The morning is spent in discussing the details of our 
reception in Bhode Island to-morrow. About midafternoon column was 
formed for the march to the Providence steamer. We received an ovation. 
Cabs, 'busses, carts, and trucks were driven from the street. The people on 
the sidewalks were most enthusiastic, all crowding to the curbing, the 
better to observe the paiusing soldiery. The main doors of buildings and 
side streets poured forth their throngs, windows were filled to the very 
eaves, every face beamed with smiles, while waving handkerchiefs and 
swinging hats and sunshades wafted thousands of greetings. It was an 



300 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

inspiring experience, and, though the heat was oppressive, the men were 
full of energy and patriotism. None asked who we were. The story was 
told in our tattered ensign, in the storm-soaked, campaign-stained, faded 
uniforms, and the bronzed features of the men. 

The regiment halted directly in front of the Astor House. We had 
our camp outfit, sooty frying dishes, black coffeepails, and grimed haver- 
sacks strapped upon our persons in the ordinary campaign manner. A 
large, very neatly attired, venturesome gentleman, wearing a large, spark- 
ling diamond in his polished shirt front, stepped out from the curbstone, 
passed the policemen, and inquired why we were all carrying these fixings 
home. He was informed they were to be used in illustrating to our grand- 
mothers how we had been living. The policeman said the man was Gom- 
mo<^ore Vanderbilt. 

When the march up Broadway was resumied, our experience was but 
a reduplication of that just enjoyed. Hence, we were in a very enthusiastic 
frame of mind when we boarded the Neptune Line steamer Oceanus. As 
she backed out from her pier, we were saluted with confusing, discordant 
whistlings, from steamers large and small, ferryboats and tugboats. The 
blasts were long and oft-repeated, ranging all the way from the weak toot 
of the tiniest towboat to the deep resounding roar of the ocean craft. It 
did seem as though every valve in the harbor and river was held wide open, 
pouring forth one long, ear-splitting welcome. From sailing vessels and 
from the shores, waving flags extended more quiet, but not less noticeable 
greetings. Meanwhile, we hung over the rail and cheered ourselves hoarse 
in our attempts at adequate acknowledgment. Only when darkness cov- 
ered the waters did we settle down for rest. 

Tuesday, 13th. At daylight the Oceamis was steaming up Narragan- 
sett Bay. The members of the Seventh feasted their eyes on familiar land- 
marks and noticeable recent changes. The first view of Rocky Point Qve- 
ated quite a commotion. A number who had been frequenters of that re- 
sort shouted out: "Be sure and have those clams ready, Colonel Hum- 
phrey!" Next, all watched for the first glimpse of Providence. Soon its 
smoking chimneys and graceful spires burst upon our view. Prolonged 
cheering greeted its sight. Many of the men were now in sight of their 
hearthstones for the first time in three terrible years. The boom of wel- 
coming artillery responded to our hurrahs. Just as the pilot signaled the 
engines to stop we could hear the welcoming music of the band, and see 
the bright uniforms of the escort waiting to receive us. When the recep- 
tion ceremonies were accomplished we started off to the fine music of the 
American Band. The first demonstration occurred at General Burnside's 



FROM PETERSBURG TO PROVIDENCE. 301 

residence on Benefit Street, neaxly opposite Charles Field Street, or more 
particularly, the seoond house north of Planet Street, that on the corner 
having been built subsequently by the general and occupied by him when 
governor of the state. We heartily cheered our beloved commander as we 
passed before him, and he graciously acknowledged our salutations. The 
march was continued through Meeting, North Main, Westminster, and 
Dorranoe Streets, to City Hall (afterwards known as Harrington's Opera 
House) , a place of amusement then occupying the site of the present City 
Hall. Meanwhile, certain mischievous comrades bit off mouthfuls of hard- 
tack and pretentiously took long draughts from their canteens as when in 
active campaigning, telling the amazed spectators how awfully hungry and 
thirsty they were. These little sideplays, however, interfered not with 
the cordial, enthusiastic greetings, that, ever and anon, with irresistible 
impulse, burst forth from the multitudes that lined our pathway. 

At 8.30 A. M. arms were stacked where the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monu- 
ment now stands, and, after each soldier had received a ticket of admission 
from the State authorities, which enabled him to invite a comrade with the 
Thirty-fifth Massachusetts who were still accompanying us in accordance 
with repeated invitations, we entered the hall, where plates were spread 
for over a thousand men. Hon. Abraham Payne then addressed us as 
follows : 

** SoLDiBBs OF THK Ukiok .' No words can express the welcome which the nation, 
triumphant and at peace, extends to you. Tou have met the most formidable conspiracy 
that ever attacked the rights of human nature, and trampled it under your feet You have 
turned its proud and haughty chieftains into skulking vagabonds upon the earth, with 
the curse of Cain upon their heads. (Applause.) You have restored to a continent 
liberty and law. 

'''■ SoLDiEBS OP THB SByBKTH Rhode Island. The names which you have been pei^ 
mitted to inscribe upon your banner render all account of your exploits unnecessary. Here- 
after it shall be praise enough for any common man that he fought with Grant at Y icksburg, 
and reopened the Father of Waters to commerce and civilization. 

^^SoLDDBBS OF Masbachusbtts. It belongs to your own fellow citizens to welcome 
you. But in passing on to your homes, I must be permitted to say that, while the Com- 
monwealth of Massachusetts has been behind no other in the shock of arms, she has been in 
the yan of them all in the culture and development of the moral ideas which have tri- 
umphed in the victory of the Union armies. (Applause.) All words are idle, and I leave 
you to exchange congratulations with your friends. To borrow the words of Mr. Lincoln 
at Gettysburg : ^ What we say to you is of smaU consequence, but what you have done 
for us is of imperishable value.* " 

At the conolusion of the address, the Morris Brothers, Pell and Trow- 
bridge's Minstrels, lessees of the hall, raised their curtain and sang their 
best songs as the comrades partook of a feast of colossal proportions, com- 



302 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

prising all the luzuriee of the season. The Thirty-flfth can testify it was 
an abundant and elegant repast. Alfter the termination of the exercises 
in the hall, we exchanged final greetings with onr Massachusetts comrades, 
who left for Beadville where they were paid off and discharged. The 
Seventh marched to a grassy slope on the Cove lands, where clean white 
tents were waiting to receive them. Colonel Daniels conferred with the 
United States mustering officer and decided to permit all to return home 
until Saturday. He also arranged to leave the regiment's arms in one of 
that officer's rooms. He then returned to camp and signed 350 passes, 
which were utilized by those so desiring. 

Wednesday, 21st. To-day, the men assembled for the last time and 
were paid and discharged at the quarternnaster's office on South Main 
Street (Fall Biver Iron Works Building). They exchanged final greetings 
and returned to the occupations of civil life. The following eminently char- 
acteristic farewell order was issued : 

HSADqUABTBBS 7tH EBeilOBNT, R. L V., 

Pbovidbhoe, R. I., June 21, 1865. 
General OrderSy No. *f . 

GoMBADBS OF THB 7th : The day to which yoa have looked forwaid so anziouslyy 
when, with a reunited country, you could return to homes and families, has finally arriyed. 

To-day closes one chapter in the history of your liyes, to-morrow commences a new. 
All of you are happy at the prospect before you, and we should thank Heaven that we 
have been spared to see this day. Coming into the service in the dark days of *d2, it is 
nearly three years since you said good bye to familiar scenes here, to fight for our country, 
and many brave sons that were then our companions now *^ sleep beyond the river. ^^ 
They gave their all that we might enjoy the blessings bequeathed us by our fathers, and 
may Heaven give them her brightest crowns ; and give strength to bear their afflictions to 
their mourning relatives and friends. 

Abraham Lincoln never called truer men to defend our flag than those who have 
fought under the colors of the 7th R. I. V. ; that flag, which we now all appreciate and 
worship; and the American people never had a truer friend than Abraham Lincoln. 

Three years ago victorious demons were trampling the ^^ Stars and Stripes" under 
foot. To-day, it floats unmolested from Maine to Texas, and there it shall float for our 
children to worship. No man, no state, no nation dares disturb it. 

May God ^^who doeth all things well" draw the life blood from every one of us, 
rather than that our flag shall be dishonored. For a while a heavy cloud hung over it, 
but now that has faded. Its enemies at home have been defeated, coerced, subjugated. 

^* They have fought till the buzzards were gorged with the spoil. 
Till the harvest turned black as it lay in the soiL 

«««««« 

In vain was the strife. Now its fury is past. 
Our fortunes will flow in one channel at last ; 



FROM PETERSBURG TO PROVIDENCE. 303 

As the torrents thai rush from the mountains of snow. 
Roll mingled in peace in the valley below. 

Our Union is riyer, lake, ocean and sky ; 
Man breaks not the medal when God cuts the die ; 
Though darkened with sulphur, though cloven with steel. 
The blue arch has brightened, the waters have healed." 

The fight has been long and bloody ; and now, with the object for which you took up 
arms accomplished, you return to enjoy the blessings of peace, happy that the strife is 
ended, proud of the part you have taken in the struggle for national life. No son of 
Rhode Island can look on your record and blush. Tou are now to renew your allegiance 
to home, and are well wortiiy the good name you bear. Through hardships, privation, and 
deadly hail, through campaigns far more extensive, bloody, and memorable, than the 
world ever before saw, you have patiently done your duty without flinching, never dis- 
couraged by disaster, never over elated by success, until led in the field by a greater than a 
Napoleon, with a brother of Washington at the capital, you have helped to conquer a 
glorious peace. 

Sometimes you have envied your friends at home their soft beds, their warm houses, 
their cheerful fijres, their tables of luxuries, their chances to rest, but never to make you 
forget your duty. Tou now return to your vacant desks, your silent anvils, your dusty 
benches, your quiet looms, your idle ploughs, your shady orchards, to the loved ones of 
home, to be forever remembered by friends, state, and country, to enjoy the blessings 
your valor won. You unbuckle your armor, but you should still spare time to keep 
bright your steel, for tyrants have not ceased to hate us. Our Government is no longer 
an experiment. Three times Britain has attempted to destroy us, and three times has she 
failed. For her last effort, her energetic support of the rebels during four years of bloody 
war, may she yet be required to make ample atonement Who is she to dictate to us what 
is right or what is Christian ? The patriots of '76 suffered as much in her Jerseys as have 
our comrades in the hands of rebel demons, and did she listen to their cries for mercy ? 
Never. Did the yells of agony of the dying Sepoys — the hundreds she murdered in cold 
blood — touch her heart of stone ? Never I The Irish, as brave a people as live, are daily 
sending to a just God their prayers for help. Does Britain care for Ireland's misery I 
No ! Now, may she mend her errors or may we be called on again to fix our bayonets and 
unsheath our swords, never to be laid aside till haughty Britain bends the knee. 

We must now sunder the ties that have bound us together for nearly three years, and 
that we cannot do without sorrow. Still we are all pleased at the prospect of the liberties 
of civil life. In our joy, let us, whom God has blessed, who have been spared to return 
as victors, and are still able to fight life's battles, not forget the shattered heads, the 
sealed eyes, the withered limbs, the empty sleeves of many less fortunate than we ; not 
forget those who have given most of the blessings of this life to their country. Do not 
consider their physical pain their principal suffering. We cannot realize their loss, the 
many blessings of earth of which they are deprived. 

Think of ourselves, doomed ere youth is past, to crutches to carry us from here to 
the grave. Let us 'neglect no opportunity to assist them and let us remember, too, those 
whose fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons, now sleep in the swamps of Mississippi, 
beneath the dark soil of Kentucky, or on the desert plains of Virginia, and future genera- 
tions will honor us for blessing them. 



304 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

And now, I heartily thank you for your fidelity and cheerful performance of all dutiea 
during your many campaigns, wish you prosperity and happiness through life, and hope 
you may all be spared long to enjoy the blessings of peace, and to tell to other generations 
your tales of war, and to show to them where are the breakers and the reefs that came so 
near wrecking us. 

P. Daniels, 
BrevetrCol. Commanding. 

In the brief half minute required to oall one's name, for him to step 
forward and receive from his oaptain bis discharge laden with his due from 
government pushed across a counter toward him, the soldier passes from a 
life of fixed hourly routine, contracted accommiodations, and narrowed privi- 
leges, to one of unrestricted freedom. In that short space of time, he has 
been transformed into a citizen, and he feels himself to be upon a level 
with his former officers, some of whom he had regarded as bard taskmas- 
ters. But how hard it is to convince himlself really be is free. He seems 
dazed by his emancipation. Yet how quickly he descends to the street, 
procures and dons plain clothes, and struts about, not because he is par- 
ticularly anxious to show his suit, but to make it plain he could wear it. No 
longer would he be compelled to stand guard in the broiling sun, or in a 
pelting rain. Never again would be be roused from deep slumber at un- 
seemly hours of the night to go out in the blizzard upon the picket line and 
watch for an enemy. And what a different aspect familiar places bear 
from what they did in form^ days. How have travel and experience left 
their impress. 

The following letter is self-explanatory : 

Pbovidbnoe, R I., June 22, 1865. 

Sib : The Seventh Regiment R. I. Infantry Vols, haying been mustered out of ser- 
yice, I have the honor to turn over to you their three Battle Flags and Guidon which they 
have fought under and defended until peace again returned to bless. 

They are battle-scarred, but you have them free from stain or dishonor, and should our 
government be again assailed you have but to call and brave hearts will rally and carry 
them to renew the scenes of other days. 

I am sir, very respectfully. 

Tour obedient servant, 

Pbboy DaNIBIiS, 
Late BvU'CoU Commanding the 7th B, I, V. 
To Hia Excellency^ James T. Smith, Governor of B, L 

There remained still in the field companies B, D, and Q of the re-enlisted 
veterans of the Fourth Rhode Island, and the recruits belonging to the 



FBOM PETERSBURG TO PROVIDENCE. 305 

Seventh, whose term of service had not expired, some 230 in all. These, 
by special order of the War Department, were formed into a battalion of 
three companies to be known as ^^Battalion Seventh Rhode Island Volun- 
teers." This organization was continued until July 13, 1865, when it wa« 
mustered out of service near Alexandria, Va. The men under command 
of Capt. Caleb T. Bowen with Adjt. George B. Gostello and Surgeon C. Q. 
Corey, arrived in Providence at three o'clock, Wednesday morning, July 
17th. A bountiful breakfast was provided them, but a proposed parade 
was prevented by a severe storm. Its list of commissioned oiBcers included, 
beside those just mentioned, Capt. Daniel S. Remington and Lieut. A. R. 
Collins, of Company B, Capt. Winthrop A. Moore and Lieut. Merchant 
Weeden, of Company D, and Lieut. C. Qoffe, of Company Q. 

The strength of these companies added to the 350 passes issued by 
Colonel Daniels to his men on the day of their arrival in Providence, shows 
the strength of the regiment at the date of its breaking up was not fai 
from six hundred men. There were a few absentees at all times. 

20 



CHAPTER XV. 

TmRTY-SEVEN Ybars Apter. 

How interminable appeareth a third of a century in anticipation; 
how brief in retrospection. How indiscernible its eventuation; 
how glorious its consummation. The immediate boundaries of 
our country then were more widely separated than its remotest dependen- 
cies are to-day. Each integral part now instantaneously responds to the 
life experiences of the others, while then a third of this fair land was as 
distant as if the Atlantic rolled between. Territory then sustaining but 
thirty-one and a half millions of people now affords a home to more than 
seventy-six millions. Its farming property has increased from seven and 
a half to nineteen and a half billion dollars, and the products of its manu- 
facturies from less than two to more than thirteen billions. 

But better still, it is a united country. "God reigns, and the govern- 
ment at Washington still lives." "Liberty and Union, now and forever, one 
and inseparable," is the sentiment of every heart from ocean to ocean, and 
from gulf to lakes. Those who bore the "Stars and Bars," have already 
gallantly participated in a noble enterprise as leaders and comrades of 
those who defended the "Stars and Stripes," and have gone forth on their 
mission of mercy across the seas to secure to the oppressed of other lands 
that "peace among men," which now, beneath the folds of the old flag, puri- 
fied and sanctified by the blood of the nation — is ours to enjoy in so large 
a degree. Already have the "boys in blue" joined the "boys in grey" in 
rendering appreciative tribute to the honesty and valor of their dead, who 
met us in open, honorable battle. Never was animosity entertained toward 
tliem. Only the few who violated all rules of civilized warfare, those 
especially who deliberately and by inches murdered their unfortunate 
prisoners, remain unforgiven. He who, under the influence of that con- 
science that makes cowards of us all, so completely forgot his record at 
Buena Vista, as to seek safety in woman's apparel, thereby unwittingly 
confessed to the world the burden of guilt resting upon him. Marvelous 
it is, that so gallant a people should, for a moment, think of perpetuating 
his memory. 




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THIRTY-SEVEN TEARS AFTER. 307 

When the task of the Seventh had been aocomplished, its war-worn 
veterans again donned citizens' apparel and engaged in the peaceful occu- 
pations of civil life. They are now widely scattered. In each of the New 
England states, in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the District 
of Oolnmbia, in West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Qeorgia, in Ohio, 
Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, in Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, and 
California, in Texas, Cuba, England, and Japan, they found appropriate 
fields for their activities and for rest. Our colonel, then captain in the 
regular army, finally obtained the double stars of a major-general, two 
comrades have achieved a world-wide reputation as scientists, two others 
as lieutenant governors, have presided for two years at least, over the 
deliberations of their respective State senates; another has long adorned 
the supreme bench of his State, another though only a practitioner at the 
bar, achieved recognition as an authority in jurisprudence; still others 
have won enviable reputations as l^islators, as justices of subordinate 
courts, as financiers, as journalists, as civil engineers, and as occupants of 
many other positions of life essential to the welfare and the prosperity of 
the community, all of which are equally honorable. For specific details, the 
reader will consult the biographical sketches hereto appended. 

But the chain that binds old soldiers together when riveted by con- 
stant exposure to death from violence and from disease for three full years, 
is not easily broken. It was soon evident arrangements must be made for 
at least annual reassemblings. Accordingly, May 30, 1873, in response to 
a call that had appeared in the Providence Daily Journal on the third pre- 
ceding day, a number of the ex-members of the regiment met at the oiHce 
of Capt. E. L. Hunt, No. 20 Weybosset Street, Providence, and organized 
the Seventh Rhode Island Veteran Association. Major William H. Joyce 
was chosen president, Sergt. Winfield S. Kilton, secretary, and Captain 
Hunt, treasurer. Arrangements were made for holding reunions in con- 
junction with a dozen other veteran regimental organizations each sum- 
mer. This policy was maintained for nearly twenty years with but a single 
break, and that was in 1890, when both its president and secretary died. 
Then it was held October 8th, in Presacott Post Hall, Providence. Ordinarily 
the gatherings were at Rocky Point or Oakland Beach, though twice they 
were held at Crescent Park, and once at the Park Garden, Providence. A 
prominent feature of these occasions was the dress parade and a review by 
the govempr, although in 1877, President Hayes was the reviewing ofSoer. 
Since 1892 the Association has held its reunions independently, visiting 
one or more times Bristol, Crescent Park, East Greenwich, Field's Point, 



308 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Rhodes on the Pawtuxet, Silver Spring, and in the current year Boyden 
Heights. Generally from fifty to seventy-five comrades have been in at- 
tendance. 

The infrequent changes in the management of the association well indi- 
cates the harmony that pervades its ranks. Major Joyce retained its 
presidency through life. Major Ethan A. Jenks was chosen his successor 
in 1890, but refused re-election in 1893, on account of the infirmities of 
age. Judge Nathan B. Lewis has held the ofiSce since that date. Sergeant 
Kilton eerved as secretary until his death, when Charles W. Hopkins was 
elected to the vacancy, which he still fills. Edward G. Gole was made 
treasurer in 1876, and continued as such through life. Nathan S. Bassett 
succeeded him in 1884, and William A. Abbott in 1885. Upon his demise 
Mander A. Maynard was chosen, and still holds the purse of the Association. 

Little business has been attempted by the organization except that 
necessary to its perpetuation. Yet in 1881, it adopted resolutions of sympa- 
thy for the Garfield family, and in 1885, for General Grant's, also of re- 
spect for General Sheridan in 1888. In 1901 the following unanimous 
action was placed on record, after listening to a verbal report by William 
P. Hopkins, who had recently visited the Vicksburg National Park, with 
Major Ethan A. Jenks, as commissioners from the State of Rhode Island, to 
identify the camping ground of the Seventh Raiment when in that vicinity, 
and to selecl a suitable site for a proposed memorial : 

Rbsolvbd, That we recommend to the governor of the State the continuance of the 
present commissioners in office until some suitable memorial shall be prepared and set up 
by the State of Rhode Island on the grounds set apart for that purpose in the Vicksburg 
National Park at Vicksburg, Mississippi ; and that we further respectfully request the 
General Assembly of said State to appropriate the sum of ten thousand dollars for that 
purpose in order that the State of Rhode Island and the officers and men who, from the 
State of Rhode Island, served in the Vicksburg campaign, may be fitly represented by a 
memorial which will compare favorably with those erected by other states. 

A pleasing feature of the reunion of 1897 was the presentation of a 
Congressional medal to Joseph Taylor, then a resident of Lowell, Mass., by 
his former colonel. Gen. Zenas B. Bliss. On only one previous occasion, the 
reunion of 1878, had the latter been able to mieet his old command since 
the war. The medal resembles the Grand Army badge, and bears on its 
reverse this inscription: "The Congress to Private Joseph Taylor, Com- 
pany E, Seventh Bhode Island Volunteers, for gallantry at Weldon Bail- 
road, Va., Aug. 18, 1864." (See page 212.) In 1895 the Association voted 
to hold midwinter reunions; these are held in the afternoon and evening 
of December 13th, the anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg. The 



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THIRTY-SEVEN YEARS AFTER. 309 

interebt of the first was enhanced by the exhibition of two hundred and 
fifty stereoscopio views from negatives taken by William P. Hopkins of 
scenes visited by the r^ment. At the second, George W. Hawkins related 
the following anecdote of Major Joyce, which was so characteristic of the 
man that it was received with shouts of laughter. In one of the engage- 
ments during the Mississippi campaign, the regiment, under a heavy fire, 
was slowly forcing its way through a piece of woodland that lay in their line 
of march, the fire from the enemy becoming more and more severe, until 
it was almost unbearable. Suddenly, Oaptain Joyce turned around, and, 
facing his company, said in a pensive sort of way : ^^Boys, I never admired 
a growth of timber so much in all my life as I do at the present time,'' and, 
suiting the action to the word, quickly placed himself behind a tree. The 
boys knew that when Captain Joyce took to cover, no apologies were neces- 
sary, so they stood not on the order of their going, but went at once. 

It is proper to note in conclusion that the register of the Association 
now contains the addresses of one hundred and four comrades residing in 
Bhode Island. 



PERSONAL SKETCHES.* 



ZENAS R. BLISS. 

CouonnsL Zenjls Randaix Bzjbb, son of Zenas and Phoebe Waterman Randall Bllfls, 
was bom in Johnston, R. I., April 17, 1885. His early education was obtained chiefly 
at the University Grammar School in Providence, R. I., then conducted by Messrs. 
Frieze and Lyon. He was appointed a cadet at West Point, July 1, 1850, and was 
graduated thence four years later with the rank of brevet second lieutenant His first 
duty was to conduct a body of recruits to T^ezas. There he was attached to the 
garrison of Fort Duncan for the space of two years. May 8, 1855, he received a 
commission as second lieutenant in the Bighth Regiment of Infantry. During the 
Summer of 1866 he did considerable scouting. He was stationed at Fort Davis from 
1856 to 1858, at Camp Hudson in 1858, at Fort Mason in 1858 and 1859, at Fort 
Inge and at Fort Clark in 1859, and at Camp Hudson in 1859 and 1860. In 1860 he 
conducted recruits to Fort Lancaster where he was in command for a short time, 
when he was transferred to Fort Quitman, where nearly a year was passed. Here 
he was the only commissioned officer present, not even a doctor being allowed him. 
Neither did he have any one to converse with save his enlisted men. So numerous 
and so aggressive were the Indians they often fired their arrows at the sentinels 
on post at the barracks and the corral. The night he arrived there while walking 
out with the officer he relieved, they met two braves crossing the parade ground. 

Oct 17, 1860, he was promoted to be a first lieutenant in the Bighth Infantry. 
Up to this time being one of the junior officers and unmarried, he was almost con- 
stantly on the warpath, but from the time he went to Fort Lancaster, until he was 
placed on the retired list with the exception of a very few months, he was entrusted 
with an Independent command. Upon the alleged secession of Texas, General Twiggs 
turned over all government property within its borders to that body politic. Lieuten- 
ant Bliss was ordered to take only such commissary stores as were necessary to supply 
the wants of his men until he should reach San 'Antonio, 650 miles distant, and am- 
munition sufficient to protect themselves from the savages. As they seldom attacked 
so large a force, ten rounds seemed an ample supply. As nothing had been said 
about destroying the remainder, he carefully secured and locked all the buildings 
and started on his march towards civilization. He had proceeded on his way some two 
days, when he received an order directing him to return and await the arrival ot 
other troops coming in from the west Once again at his post he found everything 
as it had been left Though the tracks of the Indians were all around, they feared 
to touch aught lest they should fall into some trap. At length Colonel Reeve ap- 
peared with the garrisons he had gathered up, which gave him a total force of some 
450 men. The march coastwise was now resumed. The colonel had thought to make 
a forced march when within striking distance of San Antonio, seize its arsenal by 



• For complete military record compare with the RegiBter in all 



312 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

night, and thus make himself master of the situation, but fifteen miles out he 
met a regiment of cavalry, a regiment of infantry, a battery of six pieces of artilleiy 
and an independent company of 100 men, all sharpshooters. Its commander ordered 
Colonel Reeve to surrender. He replied that of course he could not think of yield- 
ing to any mere show of force, but if he could be permitted to satisfy himself that 
they were in a position to enforce the demand he would submit. The privilege was 
accorded and Lieutenant Bliss was sent to inspect the insurgent force. He found 
the artillery chests filled with a proper assortment of ammunition in excellent condi- 
tion, the cartridge boxes of both infantry, cavalry and riflemen loaded to their utmost 
capacity, arms of all kinds in perfect order and the appearance and conversation of 
the men indicative of business. He found in the ranks one gentleman with whom 
Le bad frequently gone hunting, and whom he always had found to be an unerring 
shot The two agreed that if there should be a fight they would not fire at each other. 
When the lieutenant returned and reported to his superior, he was at once convinced 
it would be sheerest folly to undertake with next to no ammunition to combat a 
force four times as large and fully equipped, therefore he capitulated. This was 
early in May, 1861. 

Lieutenant Bliss was made captain in the Eighth Infantry, May 14, 1861, though 
he remained a prisoner of war in San Antonio until early in February, 1862. Such 
bitterness of feeling existed in that city, the officers were allowed to retain their 
side arms and wear their revolvers to protect themselves from bodily harm. 
For a long time a personal friend kept a swift horse, bridle, and saddle, where he 
could put his hands on it at any time that he might escape if he could, should 
emergency arise. They were finally sent to Richmond, Va., where they were quar- 
tered in the negro jail. 

April 6, 1862, Captain Bliss was exchanged, and May 26th was commissioned 
colonel of the Tenth Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers, with which he served in the 
defenses of Washington, until August 6th. He was then transferred to the command 
of the Seventh Rhode Island. On the march from Pleasant Valley, Md., to Falmouth, 
Va., he was engaged in a skirmish near White Sulphur Springs. Participating in 
the Rappahannock Campaign, December, 1862, to March, 1863, he was engaged in 
the battle of Fredericksburg. He was at once recommended for promotion to brig- 
adier-general of vounteers by all his superiors, for "gallantry and skillful handling of 
his regiment under fire." Although this was not complied with, he was brevetted 
major in the regular army for gallant and meritorious service on that field, and 
received a Congressional medal for most distinguished gallantry. He accompanied 
the Ninth Corps to Kentucky in March, 1863, and to Vicksburg in the ensuing June 
and .Tuly as well as to Jackson, Mississippi, which was reoccupied on the 17th of the 
latter month. Here he was again recommended, the first in the corps, for promotion 
to the rank of brigadier-general of volunteers, and the recommendation was approved 
and his immediate appointment asked for by U. S. Grant. After the return of the 
Ninth Corps to the Department of the Ohio, August, 1863, he was in command of 
Lexington, Ky., from October to December, and of the District of Middle Tennessee 
from January to March, 1864, when he was for a third time recommended for pro- 
motion to the rank of brigadier-general of volunteers by all his superiors, but with 
no more result than upon previous occasions. It was subsequently ascertained that 
some wiseacres in Washington had decided that no promotion should be gfven any 



PERSONAL SKETCHES. 313 

officer who had surrendered, juBt as if a subaltern was in any sense responsible for 
the acts of his regimental commander. Only another illustration of that unreason 
so often exhibited by those from whom the sovereign people has a right to expect 
better things. Be it noted, however, he was entrusted with all the responsibilities 
and enjoyed all the authority pertaining to the position which he had fairly earned, 
though for the discharge thereof he was reimbursed merely according to the rank 
actually held. 

Returning with the Ninth Corps to Virginia in March, 18<>4, he was placed in 
charge of the depot of supplies at Alexandria during the month of April. When the 
final movement towards Richmond was inaugurated, he was assigned to the charge 
of the First Brigade, Second Division, Ninth Corps, and thus engaged in the battle 
of the Wilderness, May 6-6th. Because of the gallant and meritorious services there 
rendered, he was made brevet lieutenant>colonel in the regular army to date from 
May 7th. He was injured at the Spottsylvania battles May 9-12th, which necessi- 
tated absence on sick leave May 13th to July 1st During July and August he was 
in command of the same brigade, and thus participated in the Mine assault July ZQth. 
From August to October he was again absent on sick leave. When able to discharge 
its duties he was detailed as president of a board of examination, with which he 
was connected until June, 1866. On the 28th of that month he was mustered out of 
his volunteer rank, and, of course, fell back to the inferior dignity, responsibilities, 
and emoluments of an infantry captain. 

From July 13, 1866, to March 2, 1866, he was engaged in recruiting service. He 
was in conunand of a company during most of March at Baltimore, Md., most of 
April at Skuylkill Arsenal, Pa., and most of Biay at Fort Porter, N. T. From June 
7th to August 13th he had charge of the District of Chester, S. C, and was Assistant 
Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands. In rec- 
ognition of the fact that he had served longer in the field during the War of the 
Rebellion than any other officer of his regiment, he was again detached on recruit- 
ing service from September 6th for one year. Aug. 6, 1867, he was promoted to be 
major of the Thirty-ninth Infantry and placed in command of Forts Jackson and 
St Philip, La., from !< eb. 4, 1868, to February, 1869. March 16, 1869, he was trans- 
ferred to the Twenty-fifth Infantry, but was in charge of Ship Island, Miss., from 
February to April of that year, of Jackson Barracks, La., during the month of April, 
of Ship Island again until August, of Jackson Barracks a second time until Decem- 
ber, and of Ship Island for a third and last time to April, 1870. FVom there he went 
a second time to Forts Jackson and St Philip, where he remained until July. 
Frontier duty was resumed after a nearly ten years' respite on the 6th of that month 
at Fort Duncan, Texas, where he remained in command until April 6, 1872. Fort 
Stockton required his supervision May 20 to March 17, 1878, and Fort Davis with its 
regimental garrison March 21, 1873, to April 13, 1874. From there he took a batch of 
prisoners to Austin which occupied the time until May 12th, when he received a 
leave of absence which he enjoyed until March 24, 1876. His next duty was the com- 
mand of Fort Bliss, April 6, 1876, to April 4, 1876, followed by that of Fort Davis April 
14th to December 1st of the same year; Fort Bliss again from the 13th to January, 1877, 
and Fort Davis once more to April 2, 1877. Next he was to be found member of Board 
for Examination of Horses at San Antonio until July, whence he was returned to 
frontier duty at Fort Clark until Feb. 28, 1878. All the above posts are situated 
in Texas. 



314 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INPANTRT. 

After a seven montliB' vacation, October 2d he was placed over David's Island 
Depot, N. T., where he reomained until Oct 6, 1880, being promoted meanwhile (March 
4, 1879) to the lieutenant-colonelcy of the Nineteenth Infantry. Thence he was trans* 
ferred to the command of Fort Hays, Kan., which he retained until Oct 30, 1881. 
Thence he was ordered to Fort Ringgold, Tex., where he was obliged to ask for sick 
leave Biarch 8, 1882. Not until November 7th, was he able to resume the responsi- 
bilities of his rank when he was placed in' charge of Fort Duncan, Texas. Next from 
Aug. 31, 1883, to June 8, 1886, he was in charge of Fort Clarke, Texas, save during 
a leave of absence extending from April 11 to November 23, 1886. Having been com- 
missioned colonel of the Twenty-fourth Infantry April, 1886, as soon as relieved he 
repaired to Fort Supply, I. T., and commanded that post as well as his regiment until 
Sept. 16, 1877, when he was obliged to avail himself of another sick leave for six 
months. March 24, 1888, he resumed command of his regiment at Fort Bayard, N. M , 
and continued therein until his appointment as brigadier-general United States Army, 
April 26, 1896, when he was entrusted with the Department of Texas. May 14, 1897, 
he was promoted to the rank of major-general, but eight days thereafter at his own 
request having rendered service fully forty-seven years, he was placed upon the retired 
list and established his home at Washington, D. C. There he died Jan. 1, 1900. 
His remains were interred at the Arlington National Military Cemetery He held mem- 
bership in the Military Order of the Loyal Legion, in the Society of Indian Wars, in 
the Society of the Army of the Potomac, and in the Society of the Ninth Army Corps. 
Colonel Bliss married Oct 22, 1863, Martha Nancy, daughter of Godfrey and Almira 
Thomas Work, of Providence, R. L, who survives him with two children, Alice 
Ingoldsby Bliss, residing with her mother at the national capital, and Zenas Work 
Bliss, a lesident of Cranston, R. I. 

Colonel Bliss enjoyed the entire confidence of the rank and file of the Seventh 
Regiment, and of the Tenth as well, because his Justice, watch care, and professional 
skill were evident to all. 

WELCOME B. SATLES. 

LiEUTENAiTT-CoLONEL WELCOME Bajllott Satles, SOU of Dsnisl and Olive Balloa 
Sayiee, was bom at Franklin, Mass., July 4, 1812. His education wa.«s obtained in 
the schools of Bellingham. When about twenty years of age he went to Bemon 
Village, then across the river from Woonsocket, R. I., and served as clerk in the 
Bemon store, of which he subsequently became owner. He first came prominently to 
the front in connection with the free suffrage movement that culminated in the Dorr 
Rebellion. He canvassed nearly the entire state, his eloquence attracting multitudes, 
though evidently it did not convince all. In acknowledgment of his services, he was 
chosen Speaker of the House in the Dorr Legislature. When the insurrection was 
quelled Sayles, like his leader, found It convenient to find an abiding place elsewhere. 
The former repaired to New Hampshire and made his home for several months with 
an uncle at Keene in that state. Then he went to Boston, Mass, where with his brother 
John O. Sayles, he spent a year in the freighting and trucking business. By this time 
the animosities of the confiict had subsided sufficiently to render it safe for him to 
return to Woonsocket, from whence, in 1846, he was appointed postmaster of Provi- 
dence by President Polk. In 1863 he was reappointed to that office by President 
Pierce. After the close of his first term with Messrs. Miller and Symonds, he founded 
the Providence Post, of which he continued to be editor until he entered the field years 





^.^.^.^ ^:^d*^-i^. 



PERSONAL SKETCHES. 315 

afterward. He had attended every National Democratic Convention from Polk down* 
80 when Ldncoln succeeded to the presidential chair, it was hut natural a man like 
him should be selected to go among the Secessionists and secure such settlement with 
the postmasters there as would entail the least loss and embarrassment to the govern- 
ment When his work was completed it received the unqualified approval of the 
postmaster-general. As has already been intimated, he attended the Baltimore Con- 
vention, and there exerted himself to restrain the lawless tendencies of his Southern 
friends; but when he found they were determined upon the disruption of the Union, 
he unhesitatingly accepted the responsibility thrust upon him and enlisted in defense 
of national integrity. Just before the battle in which he lost his life, he wrote home 
charging his family to remember that, if he fell, it was in defense of the beloved Con- 
stitution. 

Mr. Sayles was a member of St John's Lodge, No. 1,A. F. and A. M.,of Providence, 
and, during the administration of Governor Philip Allen, served as colonel on his 
personal staff. He married Deborah 0., daughter of Moses W. and Mary Watson, of 
Dover, N. H., by whom he had five children: Eliza Jane, wife of Lieut Joseph S. 
Manchester, and subsequently of Waldo L. Gates, of Lonsdale, R. I.; Mary, wife of 
Edward T. Raymond to whose care she left a daughter Maud; Julia Wilkinson, wife 
of James Henry Tower, whose children are Clifford Sayles, Louis Philip and Maria 
Elizabeth, wife of Benjamin Pearce Harris; Philip Allen, who married Hannah Cor- 
nett and died leaving one son, Philip Allen Sayles; Louis Leprelett Sayles, who died 
unmarried. Lieutenant-Colonel Sayles's remains were interred with befitting honors 
at Swan Point Cemetery, Providence. 

GEORGE E. CHURCH. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Geoboe Eabl Church, son of George Washington 
and Margaret Fisher Church, was bom at New Bedford, Mass., Dec. 7, 1836. His 
father dying at Mobile, in 1838, his mother removed to Providence, R. I., and sent 
him to the Arnold Street School. At thirteen yeans of age he entered the Providence 
High School and graduated at sixteen. He then commenced tne study of civil and 
topographical engineering, and for a time was engaged in the survey of townships 
in Massachusetts for the state map, and afterward as assistant engineer upon several 
railway enterprises in Iowa. Before he was twenty-one he received the appointment 
of resident engineer of the great Hoosac tunnel in Massachusetts. When the work 
stopped on account of financial difficulties, he accepted the position of chief assistant 
engineer on a western railway, but he was invited not long after to go to the Argen- 
tine Republic, where he became a member of the scientific commission sent by the 
government of Buenos Ayres to explore the southwestern frontier of the country and 
report upon the best system of defense against the fierce inroads of the Patagonians 
and other savages living upon the pampas and the Andean slopes. For this wild and 
dangerous expedition, the government detailed a covering force of 400 cavalry. The 
commission rode over 7,000 miles in nine months and fought two severe battles with 
the savages, one of which on May 19, 1869, was a midnight attack upon the little force 
by 1,600 picked warriors of the Huelches, Puelches, Pehunches, Pampas, Araucanians 
and Patagones. The attack was a surprise; naked and mounted bareback on their 
splendid horses and with their long lances in line, they poured down upon the ex- 
pedition in a magnlficlent charge by moonlight Then for three hours it was a 



316 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

hand-to-hand fight, where no quarter was given nor aaked. The sayages finally 
retired in good order with 3,000 head of cattle and horses as the fruit of their daring 
raid. On the return of the commission to Buenos Ayres each member presented a 
plan for the defense of the frontiers; that of Mr. Church was published and adopted 
by the government 

On hearing of the outbreak of the Rebellion, Mr. Church, who was then engaged 
as engineer on the construction of the Great Northern Railway of Buenos Ayrea, 
resigned his position, returned home and made application to the Secretary of War, 
to go before the West Point Ejzamining Board to be examined for a commission 
as second lieutenant of the United States Engineers. The application beins 
refused as contrary to regulations, he went to Providence and was appointed 
captain in the Seventh Rhode Island July 26, 1862; lieutenant-colonel Jan. 
7, 1863; colonel of the Eleventh Rhode Island (a nine months regiment), Feb. 11, 
1863, and colonel of the Second Rhode Island, Dec. 31; 1864, but was never mustered 
into service as such, for that famous regiment was not recruited up to the strength re- 
quired before the close of the war. After the death of the lieutenant-colonel and major 
at Fredericksburg, Captain Church was put in command of the regiment. Colonel Bliss 
having charge of the brigade. He participated in the defense of Suffolk when be- 
sieged by Longstreet, and afterward led the van with a brigade of four regiments, 
part of a force of 14,000 men, in a successful raid for the tearing up of the Seaboard 
and Roanoke, and the Norfolk and Petersburg railways. He then, with his brigade, 
covered the rear, fighting several skirmishes as the force retired upon Suffolk. 
During the Gettysburg campaign, in June, 1863, he was placed in command of the 
fortifications of Williamsburg on the Peninsula, having under him beside his own 
regiment, the Second Wisconsin Battery, Battery E, of the First Pennsylvania Artil- 
lery, and a squadron of the Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry. Pending the refilling of the 
Second Rhode Island, Colonel Church accepted the position of chief engineer for 
the construction of the branch of the Providence, Warren, and Bristol Railroad, to 
Fall River, which he completed in April, 1865. 

About this time the French invasion of Mexico was deeply agitating the Ameri- 
can mind. It drew from the pen of Colonel Church "A Historical Review of Mexico 
and its Revolutions," which the "New York Herald paid him the compliment of pub- 
lishing entire in Ertxteen columns of its edition of May 25, 1866. This review was by 
Mr. Romero, then Mexican Minister at Washington, sent to our state department 
with the request to archive it as the best outline of Mexican history ever written, 
and, with the permission of the author, he published it in pamphlet form, and caused 
a copy to be laid upon the desk of every senator and member of Congress. It has 
been translated into German and French, and twice into Spanish. One of the results 
of this publication was that its author went to Mexico to support the Liberal cause 
under President Juarez, who, shorn of his army, and with the mere shreds of a 
government, had been driven northward even to within sight of the frontier of the 
United States. Colonel Church, accompanied by General Lew Wallace, rode 90O 
miles from Matamoras to Chihuahua via Monterey, Saltillo, and Parras, running the 
gauntlet of Imperial raiding parties, bandits, and, an incursion of Apaches from New- 
Mexico. The latter killed 126 Mexicans In three days along the route taken by our 
adventurous travelers, and, finally drove them to take refuge for one night in a 
loopholed mescal building. Safely reaching his destination Oct 21, 1866, he found 
President Juarez and his cabinet and about 1,200 disorganized troops. Their artil- 



PERSONAL SKETCHES. 317 

lery consisted of two small howitzers, differing In calibre. For lack of Iron they were 
casting copper balls for them. He remained seven months with them, during which 
time he was quartered with General Tgnaclo Mejla, Minister of War. He shared 
their privations, their defeats, their long marches, and their successes, until the 
capture of Maximilian at Queretero. The campaign which hemmed In the Ill-fated 
emperor and resulted In his capture was planned by Colonel Church at Du Range, and, 
within an hour after It had been presented to the Minister of War, It had been dis- 
cussed at the cabinet meeting and orders hurried off to the several forces In the field 
to carry It Into execution. Two days before the storming of Zacatecas (Jan. 27, 1867,) 
the Imperialist General Mlramon sent word to Colonel Church that he would shoot him 
in the Plaza If he caught him. On the morning of the assault of that ablest 
of Imperial generals, he was nearly captured for having given his own fast 
horse to President Juarez; he was the last to dash clear of the Plaza under a shower 
of bullets from a battalion of French Zouaves, while only 900 yards distant down 
the Bufa mountain road came Mlramon thundering along at the head of 700 cavalry. 
The race was for life, especially through the streets encumbered with the debris of 
the Liberal army, but across the country south of the city, himself described his 
ride as "a grand steeplechase for forty-two miles, In which he constantly gained 
ground until Mlramon gave up the pursuit and returned to Zacatecas." Three dasrs 
later the Liberals took It San Louis Potosl struck off five medals to com- 
memorate the recapture of that important city, one In gold for President 
Juraez, a silver one for each of the cabinet ministers, and a silver one for 
Colonel Church, which was presented to him with considerable ceremony. 
During his stay In that country he wrote some forty-nine letters to the New 
York Herald detailing his experiences and describing the varying fortunes of 
the Liberal cause from the day of his arrival to the surrender of Maximilian. When 
that occurred, Colonel Church rode 600 miles in six days to the Rio Grande frontier 
and hastened thence to Washington to Induce, If possible, our Government to use 
its Influence to save the life of Maximilian; but his efforts were fruitless. Mr. Seward, 
who had been advised of his purpose, denied him an interview. 

Colonel Church now accepted employment on the editorial staff of the New York 
Herald, where he remained for more than a year, but while thus engaged, the Bolivian 
Government sent General Qulntin Quevedo, a prominent member of its diplomatic 
corps, to invite him to undertake the long-cherished, national project to open to navi- 
gation the 3,000 miles of Bolivian tributaries of the Amazon. These are separated 
from the navigable waters of the lower River Madeira by about 300 miles of formid- 
able cataracts and rapids, principally in the territory of Brazil. He accepted the 
invitation, but proceeded to Bolivia via Buenos Ayres, opposite which city, on the Rio 
de la Plata, he selected and prepared a proper site for a marine slip for an American 
company. Then with one servant he rode overland 2,000 miles to La Paz the capital 
of Bolivia, where the required concession for the navigation of the Bolivian waters 
was secured. He then returned to New York via Panama, but soon after his arrival 
at the request of the Bolivian government, he returned to La Paz, whence he repaired 
to Rio de Janeiro via the Straits of Magellan to obtain the right to construct a rail- 
way to avoid the falls of the River Madeira, which that government had failed to 
negotiate, as it had agreed. The desired concession from Brazil was granted to 
Colonel Church with but little delay. He went at once to New York and organized 
the National Bolivian Navigation Company in June, 1870, under a charter from the 



318 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

United States government and became its president Next, in London he organized 
the Madeira and Mamore Railway Company under his Brazilian concession of which 
himself was chairman. He then raised over $6,000,000 cash to carry out the two 
enterprises and contracted for the railway works with a powerful English Company. 
Again he went to Bolivia, via Peru and the Tacora pass of the Andes, reached the 
Bouthem (capital, Sucre, via Oruro, went to Cochabamba and Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 
a town at the headwaters of a tributary of the Amazon, organized a canoe expedi- 
tion of eighty-three Indians and a few white men, and descended the River Piray, the 
Mamore and the falls of the Madeira. At the last fall, San Antonio, he was met by 
a small exploring steamer which he caused to be taken up the cataracts, she being 
hauled three miles overland en route. At the fall of Pedermeira he saved the lives 
of sixteen Indians who were clinging to a wrecked canoe in midriver, while at an- 
other rapid his own canoe was wrecked, and again at the "Cauldron of Hell," he 
nearly lost his entire expedition. He returned to Europe via the River Madeira and 
the Amazon. The magnitude and the promise of this project evoked the bitter 
Jealousy and opposition of the merchants of the Pacific coast, who held a commercial 
monopoly of the district it was proposed to open by the new route. It was sud- 
denly discovered that an American company held in hand an enterprise which prom- 
ised to penetrate South America through its centre, turn its commerce from the old 
forced channels into natural ones and powerfully affect the political and intertrade 
relations of several of the Spanish-American states. The fierce Jealousies combined 
on all sides. The English Construction Company threw up its contract and Joined 
the bondholders in an attack upon the railway trust fund, which they tied up by 
injunction in the Court of Chancery. The Bolivian government then entered the 
lists and tried to seize the fund. Colonel Church fought these heavy odds as long 
as there was an inch of ground left to stand on and gained suit after suit from 1873 
to 1S78. The bondholders' committee then bribed the Bolivian President, Daza, with 
£20,000 to take sides with them, and instituted a new suit with the Bolivian con- 
cession revoked. Even this new suit Colonel Church gained in the Court of the First 
Instance. The House of Lords finally settled the question by declaring the enter- 
prise impracticable, although the Brazilian government, which, throughout, had given 
its unwavering support to the colonel, had months before, at his request, issued a 
decree offering to supplement the existing fund with all the money necessary to com- 
plete the railway work. At the time the enterprise was broken up, there were 1,200 
men at work on the railroad, and a locomotive was running on the first section. 

A few months after the wreck of this, his greatest undertaking, which un- 
questionably would have accomplished all Its detractors alleged against it, but for 
the proverbial Spanish treachery exhibited by the oflicial heretofore referred to, and 
which will inevitably be accomplished in a few years at most, for pigmies cannot 
forever block the inexorable progress of commerce, we find Colonel Church en route 
from Washington to Quito under instructions from Secretary James G. Blaine to 
make a report to the United States government upon the political, social, commer- 
cial, and general condition of Ecuador. He was also in that voyage, entrusted by 
the English holders of that people's bonds with full power to negotiate the re-adjust- 
ment of their national debt. He proceeded to Guayaquil via Panama, crossed the 
Chimborazo pass of the Andes, remained at Quito three months, rode north as far 
as the frontier of Colombia, and afterward went to Lima, where he tarried for a 
time to write his report which is entitled "Ecuador in 1881." This was published 



PBBSONAL SKETCHES. 319 

(Ex. Doc. No. 69 of forty-seventti Congress), as a special message of President Arthur 
to Congress. The extensive data it contains is widely and often quoted. Colonel 
Church then went to Chill and via the Straits of Magellan, to Uruguay and the Argen- 
tine Republic, and thence to Brazil, returning to the United States by way of England. 
Later in London, he engaged in financial operations of considerable magnitude con- 
nected with public works, and in 1889 contracted to build a railway in the Argentine 
Republic for one million sterling. This he completed in two years, in the midst of 
the Baring crisis which ruined so many contractors for public works in South America. 
In 1895 he spent three months in Costa Rica in behalf of the foreign bondholders 
of that country, and also during his stay there made an elaborate report to the Costa 
Rica Railway Company upon the condition of its line. 

Although still engaged in the construction of railways in the Argentine Republic, 
Colonel Church devotes much time to literary pursuits. He is a member of several 
scientific and learned societies, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, 
and has been a member of the Council of the Royal Geographical Society for four 
years, being the first foreigner, not an English citizen ever admitted to that honor. 
In 1891 he represented the former Society at the International Congress of Hygiene 
and Demography, held in London, and, in 1898, at the Bristol meeting of the British 
Association for the Advancement of Science, he, as president of the Geographical 
Section, read a paper on "Argentine Geography, and the Ancient Pampean Sea»" 
which attracted great attention, and was pronounced by The Times "one of the most 
scientific papers ever read before that Section." Numerous and extensive articles 
have appeared in the Oeographical Journal from his pen, and, recently, one of its 
monthly numbers was almost entirely occupied by his "Outline of the Physical 
Geography of South America." To his fine library of books in several foreign lan- 
guages with which he is familiar he devotes all his spare time, for he is still a close 
student of history, geography, and travel, but to fill in the details of his life would 
require a large volume. Extensive travels in Europe, and in most parts of our own 
continent and among the North and South American Indians, as well as numerous 
exciting adventures where the stake was life, have partially toned down the almost 
tireless physical forces of this representative of an old Pilgrim family. 

Colonel Church married in 1882, Alice Helena Cartner n4e Church, a very distant 
relative, who died without issue in November, 1898. 

About the middle of October and after a portion of this volume had been printed 
Colonel Church spent a few hours in Providence, consulting the John Carter Brown 
Library of American History. He was direct from the Dominion, where he had com- 
pleted the negotiations preliminary to the full construction of the Canadian Trans- 
Continental Rairoad and had inspected its first section. This is to connect Port 
Simpson on the Pacific coast with Quebec, and will not only be 850 miles shorter 
than the Canadian Pacific Railroad, but will cross the Rockies at 2,500 feet less eleva- 
tion. It unquestionably will prove his masterpiece. The full page portrait is from a 
photofiraph taken in Boston the day before he visited these Plantations. He is at 
present vice-president of the Royal Geographical Society of England. 

JOB ARNOLD. 

Lii:uTENANi<k)LONix JoB Abnold, youugest son of Stephen G. and Mary Angell 
Arnold, was bom in Smithfield, R. I., Jan. 18, 1827. His parents soon removed, how- 
ever, to Providence, where he received the ordinary education of that day at the 



320 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

First District School. When thirteen he went to New York City, where four years 
were spent in his brother John's dry goods store. Then he returned to Provldenoe, 
and, after learning the trade of jeweler and engraver, he pursued it until the break- 
ing out of the war in 1861, though making his home, at least from the latter part of 
June, in Smithfield, as he was specially interested in horticulture and agriculture, and 
hoped the time would come when he could devote his entire life to their pursuit On 
April 17th, he enlisted in Capt. William W. Brown's company of the First Regiment 
Rhode Island Detached Militia, but after its arrival at Washington he was assigned 
to Capt Francis Way land Qoddard's company of carbineers. Intrepidity and coolness 
on the skirmish line at Bull Run attracted the attention and elicited the admiration 
alike of officers and comrades. He was mustered out with the regiment Aug. 2, 1861. 

Mr. Arnold was commissioned captain of Company E, Fifth Regiment Rhode 
Island Heavy Artillery, and, as such, participated in the Bumside expedition, includ- 
ing the battles of Roanoke Island and Newbem, and the Siege of Fort Macon. 

Upon the resignation of Major John Wright, Aug. 25, 1862, Captain Arnold as- 
sumed command of the Fifth. By his untiring efforts he brought the regiment to 
a remarkable degree of efficiency in drill and discipline. He was in command of 
his regiment at the battles of Rawl's Mill, Kinston, Whitehall, and Ooldsboro, and 
received the commendation of his brigade commander. Col. Thomas G. Stevenson, 
who afterwards commanded a division in the Ninth Army Corps, and was killed at 
the battle of the Wilderness. 

It is related that one night at Batchelder's Creek our outer pickets were driven 
in. Captain Arnold suggested that the tattoo be beaten in several places and the 
cars kept running, that the enemy might think the Unionists were receiving rein- 
forcements. The ruse succeeded admirably, and is believed to be the chief reason 
of his withdrawal from certain positions then occupied. 

On Jan. 7, 1863, for gallant services. Captain Arnold was commissioned lieutenant- 
colonel of the Fifth, but March 2d was transferred to the Seventh. At that time 
an attack on Newbem seemed imminent and it was with deepest regret the line and 
rank and file, learned of his decision to accept the preferred position. Unwillingness 
to stand in the way of a worthy fellow officer, was the consideration that determined 
his acquiescence, an exhibition of amiability that unquestionably cost him, eventually, 
his life. Says a letter of that date from the Fifth Regiment, "At once it was deter- 
mined by the officers and men that Colonel Arnold should not be allowed to depart 
from among them without first presenting him with some testimonial of the uni- 
versal love and respect felt for him by both officers and men. For this purpose the 
line officers of the regiment procured an elegant sash and fine field glass. The men 
with fine instinct, happily decided upon a testimonial which, not only showed how 
sincere and unanimous was their regard for the noble-minded and unselfish gentle- 
man, but how surely they knew they were presenting him with something money 
could not buy, and which he would ever after treasure with that just pride which 
only men like him could feel. The idea had only to be mentioned to the men to be 
adopted and acted upon at once. To this end an engrossed memorial was prepared 
and signed by every non-commissioned officer and private then with the regiment 

On the afternoon of Tuesday, March 17th, the men marched to the parad<) 
ground and formed in hollow square. Colonel Arnold was brought out and took his 
station with the field and staff and company officers in the centre. Sergeant Conger^ 



PERSONAL SKETCHES. 321 

bearing the testimonial, then stepped forward and said: "Colonel Arnold, it has 
fallen to my lot to have the honor of presenting the popular feeling of this regi- 
ment as expressed In this paper unanimously signed by the non-commissioned officers 
and privates, which I am requested to read to you. We have thought it best to 
present it in this form that in after years when this strife is over, you may look 
upon it when amid your family circle, and be cheered with the thought that your 
exertion and your patriotism were appreciated by those under your command. Tou 
have ever been to us a father and we are loth to part with you. But in parting 
let us mutually put our trust in Him who is able to say to the angry storm of war: 
'Peace, be still.' When our flag shall wave in peace from the Atlantic to the Pacific 
and from the Lakes to the Gulf, may we all be spared to return to our beloved State, 
there to enjoy with our families and friends the fruits of our sacrifices and toils." 

The memorial, duly signed, was then read and presented to the colonel. It was 
as follows: 

"Camp Anthony, Fifth Regt., R. L V. 
Newbebn, N. C, March 17, 1863. 
LncuT.-CoLONix Abnold: 

Sis: It is with feelings of deepest regret, we learn that you are to be taken from 
us and transferred to another regiment. We cannot allow this opportunity to pass 
without unitedly expressing to you our best wishes for you future success and wel- 
fare. While reviewing your past, we cannot recall the first unkind word or dis- 
honorable act. Tou have been loyal to the government and your command. Tou 
have never asked us to go where you were not willing to lead, and have always shared 
with us the fatigues of the march and the dangers of battle. In parting allow us as 
Rhode Island soldiers to pledge with you anew our entire devotion to our country's 
cause, and, through all the fortunes of war, in whatever positions we may be placed, 
our firm resolve to stand firm for the right until this unholy Rebellion shall be 
crushed, and every aider, abettor or apologist of treason shall wither beneath the 
consuming scorn and contempt of a free and enlightened people." 

With an emotion which showed how fully he appreciated the feeling which dic- 
tated the preparation of this unsought and unsolicited evidence of the love and regard 
of the assembled men he briefiy thanked them for it in the following fitting reply: 

"Comrades of the Fifth Rhode Island: I cannot find words with which to ex- 
press to you my heartfelt thanks for this touching and beautiful testimony of your 
confidence and affection. I shall prize it, not only for the kindly feeling manifested 
for me, but for the high and noble patriotism herein expressed which does credit to 
you all. This is the proudest day of my life. I shall treasure this document as a 
souvenir to be kept as long as life shall last. I am glad to know that, though a 
year and a quarter of hardship and danger has passed, you are still animated by the 
same motives of patriotism as when we left the shores of dear New England. 
Let us continue to strive to do our whole duty until peace shall reign. Soon after 
our arrival at Newbern, I told you the time was not far distant when every man would 
be proud to own himself as one of the Fifth Rhode Island. That time came long ago. 
To-day you stand second to none among your country's defenders. 1 can bear willing 
testimony to the cheerful and soldier-like manner in which you have i>erformed all 
duties and borne all fatigues, and to your undaunted courage on the battlefield. It 
is a source of sincere gratitude to me that I leave you in such good hands. I have 
every confidence that your future will be alike honorable to country, to state and to 
yourselves. A few more hours and I shall bid you farewell, dear friends, and in part- 
ing I wish you health and strength to continue to the end of this Rebellion and a glad 
return to home and friends. And, my friends, if in the future you sometimes think 
of him who loved this regiment, remember if he failed in the performance of his whole 
duty it was a failure of the head and not of the heart" 

21 



322 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

The statement is here ventured that the entire history of that war cannot iMurallel 
this instance of an officer long in command of a regiment engaged in march, siege, 
and battle, always enforcing strict discipline and exacting implicit obedience to 
orders, and yet doing it with such singleness of purpose and uprightness of conduct 
as to win such an expression of esteem from every enlisted man under his command. 

In the evening Captain Belger and the officers of Battery F, together with the field 
and staff of the Fifth, assembled to formally present their testimonials to Ck>lonel 
Arnold. The presentation was made by Capt William W. Douglas (now an associate 
Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island), in a neat and felicitous speech. It was 
a complete surprise to the colonel, who was too much overcome to make more than 
a brief reply. Colonel Tew was then called out, and, in an eloquent and feeling 
speech, stated that when Colonel Arnold received his appointment as lieutenant- 
colonel, he had asked the authorities at home to commission Major Tew as lieutenant- 
colonel and make himself major. This change was not made, but the speaker referred 
to the manliness and unselfishness which prompted the action, and then stepping 
forward took Colonel Arnold's hand saying: "Colonel, as you go out you bear with 
you our prayers and our best wishes, and if in the vicissitudes of the campaign we 
meet not here, may we be present to answer to our names at the great roll-call in the 
day of the resurrection." 

In the summer of 1863 Colonel Arnold participated with the Ninth Corps in its 
Mississippi campaign, which, though short, was arduous, and prostrated thousands of 
men and officers. When his own health broke down from its exposures and labors, 
only eighty men were left in the Seventh Regiment fit for duty. He hoped to return 
to the service, but being of delicate organization, the disease which had fastened 
itself upon him could not be shaken off, so at length he was honorably discharged oo. 
account of physical disability May 28, 1864. 

After reaching home not once did he leave his room for five long months. Later, 
at intervals, by dint of utmost care, he was enabled to attend to some business. Tet 
he suffered much though always hopeful, cheerful and thoughtful of others even when 
confined to his room, and gradually wasting away. He was a singularly pure, brave, 
and good man, spotless amidst the vices of camps, steadfast in action and duty, loyal 
in every position of trust and responsibility. 

Captain (now Judge) Douglas has well said of him: "He was a soldier of 
perfect courage and endurance, an officer whose rare Judgment made him a leader 
among his compeers, whose firmness and gentleness won the respect and affection of 
his subordinates, and whose military skill and promptness secured the confidence 
of his commanders, a patriot who willingly accepted a lingering and painful illness, 
and a premature death as the result of his services to his country; a friend who was 
ever regardless of self in the service of those he loved, a man of cheerful temp^-, 
amiable heart and unsullied purity of life." 

Colonel Arnold married, June 16, 1864, Anha Maria, daughter of Job and Sarah 
J. Angell. He died Dec. 28, 1869, leaving a widow and one child. His remains now 
rest in the North Burial Ground. 

PERCY DANIELS. 

LiEUTENANT-CoiiONEL Pebct Daniels, socoud SOU of Judge David and Nancy 
Ballou Daniels, was bom in Woonsocket, R. I., Sept. 17, 1840. Left an orphan at six 
years of age he received the training of the common schools of his native town, but 



* PERSONAL SKETCHES. 323 

supplemented them with couraes at the Westminster Seminary in Vermont and the 
University Grammar School in Providenoe, preparatory to the profession of ciyil 
engineering to which he has devoted much of his life. When the Rebellion broke 
out he desired to enlist at once, but health forbade, and, consequently, the winter of 
1861-2 was spent in the pineries of Michigan. Returning Bast in May, he enlisted in 
the Seventh, and at once opened a recruiting office at Woonsocket A second lieuten- 
ant's commission was given him July 26th, and a first lieutenant's September 4th, 
upon which he was mustered Into the service. January, 1863, found him in command 
of Company E, which he was largely instrumental in raising, and, March 1st, he was 
promoted to be its captain. June 29, 1864, he was commissioned lieutenant-colonel 
of the regiment, but the records of the War Department as certified to by Fred. C. 
Ainsworth, the chief of the Record and Pension Office, Dec 2, 1895, show that he was 
"in command of the regiment from May 18, 1864." The fact is, that when captain, 
he was twice assigned to the command of the regiment over his seniors. The first 
order was issued by the division commander immediately after the Second Spottsyl- 
vania, while the second came from brigade headquarters with the knowledge and 
approval of the higher authority reiterating it, but rendering it more specific by 
saying: "In the absence of the Colonel Commanding." He retained that authority 
until the regiment was mustered out He was brevetted colonel to date from July 30, 
1864. Colonel Daniels was present and on duty at every engagement in which the 
regiment participated. To secure this record on two occasions, he pocketed a leave 
of absence that had Just been transmitted to him. The first he received July 4, 1863, 
Just as the rebel flags came down in Vicksburg, but because of the Jackson campaign 
he forebore to avail himself thereof until the regiment had reached Cincinnati on its 
way back to Kentucky. On the way up the Mississippi River, he was the only officer 
present and fit for duty, except Capt Edward T. Allen and the surgeons. Again, 
Oct. 7, 1864, he received a ten days' leave, but he tarried to take part in a little demon- 
stration in the direction of Hatcher's Run, where, as he was superintending the slash- 
ing of timber in front of Twltchell's (rebel) battery, he had a horse shot under him 
and a bullet alike through hat and blouse. In passing it may be remarked that on 
two other occasions he had horses shot under him, and repeatedly his clothes were 
pierced and cut by the missiles of the enemy. 

For two winters immediately after the war. Colonel Daniels spent his time on 
railroad work and prospecting in Kentucky and Tennessee. Just before starting 
General Bumside sent him a note from which the following is an extract: "I desire 
before parting with you to express to you my sincere thanks for the generous, loyal, 
efficient and gallant service you have always rendered me during our long service 
together. I know of no one who deserves better of his country than you. You will 
carry with you my sincere prayer for your health, happiness, and prosperity. I am 
sure that the same energy, talent, loyalty, and gentlemanly deportment that have 
made you one of our best officers will make you a useful citizen and a kind friend to 
the community in which you may settle." Dissatisfied with the Southern outlook, he 
visited Kansas, and decided to make his home in that state. In June, 1867, he married 
Eliza Ann, daughter of Leonard and Isabel Newton Eddy, of Leicester, Mass., with 
whom he migrated to a home of his own making, near the old town of Crawfordsville 
and fouF miles northwest of the present city of Girard. Here he opened a country 
store and thus supported himself, while breaking and improving the farm on which 
he resides. This he has styled in remembrance of early associations Narragansett 



324 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Farm. After a time he relinquiBhed the store and devoted himself largely to sur- 
veying, until 1873, when he accepted a position in the city engineering department 
of Worcester, Mass., remaining there five years and being promoted, meanwhile, to the 
office of city engineer. In reference to his work there, which involved some of the 
most important questions of municipal growth and improvement, the Worcester Spy 
in closing an editorial review of his report for the year Just ended, on Jan. 30, 1878, 
said: ''The report to which these remarks refer is, of course, that of the retiring 
engineer, Oen. Percy Daniels, whose sagacity and good Judgment, as well as his 
professional accomplishments, have been of great use to the city." 

From 1879 to 1881 Colonel Daniels tarried in Providence, R. I., while settling a 
brother's estate, engaged, meanwhile, in his favorite occupation, civil engineering. 
In the spring of the latter year he returned to his farm in Kansas, where he has since 
resided, though, meanwhile, he has spent two years in railroad work and five years 
as county surveyor of Crawford County. In 1888 he became interested in politics, 
and, in January, 1890, he purchased the CHrard Herald "to convince the voters of 
Crawford County of the reasonableness of his demands" upon "the Republican party 
to abandon its hypocritical position on the tariff and taxation questions, and keep 
their .early promise, and to make an honest effort to destroy the trusts," and especially 
of the necessity for the graduated estate tax or some similar expedient." In October, 
1891, the specific proposition was adopted and endorsed by the People's Party County 
Convention, as it had been by the County Alliance. So the next week he sold his 
paper, since which time he has had no other business but his farm, though he has 
taken an active part in forwarding the interests of the "reform movement" since 
he Joined it in 1889. He wss delegate to the State Alliance in October, 1889, to the 
St. Louis Convention in December, 1889, to the Cherryvale Convention for the nomina- 
tion of Congressman, and to the Omaha Convention that nominated General Weaver 
for president. June 17, 1892, he was, in his absence, nominated by the People's Party 
as its candidate for lieutenant-governor, to which position he was duly elected for a 
term of two years. So well did he fulfill the duties of his position that all the 
senators united in resolutions of commendation for the able and impartial manner 
in which he had presided over that body, though the spirit of partisanship at that 
time was very intense. 

The qualifications of Colonel Daniels for high military command have not been 
overlooked by his adopted state. He was commissioned by Governor Osborne brig- 
adier-general of the Third Brigade, Kansas Militia, for 1873 and 1874, and majo^ 
general of the Division of the Kansas National Guard, by Governor Lewelling, for 
1893 and 1894; but was not relieved until Feb. 22, 1896. While holding this position 
the great strike among the coal miners of Southeastern Kansas occurred, resulting 
in a serious disturbance and some bloodshed. The occasion had become very critical, 
and there were occasional skirmishes between the sheriff's posse and the rioters. The 
governor directed him to visit the scene of trouble, investigate, and report He 
went and held a long interview with the strike leaders in which they were informed 
the laws must be respected. He then reported at Topeka concerning the situation, and 
recommended "that the authority and the forces, if necessary, of the state be used 
for protecting property and preventing a conflict." A meeting of state officers was 
held that evening to consider the report There was a disagreement and the result 
was that about one a. m. the Governor turned to him (remember he was also lieu ten- 
ant-governor) and said: "General Daniels, I am going home and going to bed, and 



PERSONAL SKETCHES. 325 

turn the whole macter over to you to do as you think best" Now the general had 
remarked In a campaign speech: "The prime object of laws is the assurance of in- 
dividual rights and the protection of life and property; and it is not only expedient, 
but it is essential for the good of all classes that they be enforced against all classes 
alike. And the honest official, not the one whose honesty hangs either by the cord of 
popular clamor or the tond of potent influence, but such as Are guided by that kind 
of honesty which is an integrity of purpose, however much their duties may be re- 
pugnant to their preferences, contrary to their wishes or hostile to their sympathies, 
will enforce the laws they are sworn to defend and uphold, or step aside and leave 
an unpleasant duty to those who would be required to fill their places." He could 
not do otherwise than immediately order the adjutant-general to assemble eleven com- 
panies of the National Guard at their armories with three days' rations. Most of 
them were ready to move at daylight The consequence was the strike was settled 
within twenty-four hours without more trouble. At the end of the year General 
Daniels's report to the executive included a statement concerning the strike, and 
documents referring thereto. This was published in full at the time in the daily 
papers, but when the state documents were printed two years later that portion of 
the report referring to the importance and the necessity of an impartial enforce- 
ment of the laws had been striken out. 

For a time Colonel Daniels was a member of George H. Ward Post, Grand Army 
of the Republic, of Worcester, Mass., also of Morning Star Lodge, A. F. and A. M., of 
Woonsorket, R. I. More recently he was a charter member of the "blue lodge" in 
Glrard, Kan., but is not at present connected with any order. He has three sons, 
Frederick Percy, Walter Horton, and Earle Newton; also a daughter Elizabeth But- 
trick, now Mrs. William P. Clin. All of these have attained their majority. He has 
one grandson, Frederick Harmon Daniels. 

JACOB BABBITT. 

Majob Jacob Babbitt, only son of Jacob and Bathsheba B. Babbitt, was bom in 
Bristol, R. I., May 9, 1809. His education was chiefly obtained at the then famous 
military academy taught by Capt. Alden Partridge at Middletown, Conn., and at 
Norwich, Vt. Soon after his return from the military academy, he married Oct 7, 
1826, Abby Eliza, only daughter of Dr. Lemuel W. Briggs, and thereafter for several 
years engaged fn agriculture. This he eyentually abandoned in order to succeed to 
his father's business as a West Indian merchant, and, subsequently, beofune largely 
interested in the manufacture of cotton goods. The flrst mill in his natiye town 
was erected through his own and his father's enterprise. It was subsequently de- 
stroyed by Are, but rebuilt by his persistent efforts. He was also a large owner in 
the second of the two original mills of the town which in later dftys shared the fate 
of the first. He alone caused it to arise likewise from its ashes, and be put in full 
actlTity. The Rebellion closed its doors^ and made a failure of what soon would 
have been a financial success. 

No small portion of Mr. Babbitt's time was devoted to public affairs. He was 
active in the formation of the King Philip Fire Company, and for many years its 
foreman. He was also firewarden for a long time. The system of water supply by 
pipes and hydrants connected with the forcepumps of the mills was largely due to 
his labors. He was instrumental in the organization of the Bristol gas works. Upon 



326 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

the resignation of his father he became president of the Commercial Bank. Both 
these positions he held until death. As vestryman of St Michael's Church, and 
trustee of the new Juniper Hill Cemetery, he proved himself useful. The town fre- 
quently sent him to the State legislature. His recreation was yachting. In politics he 
was a Jacksonian Democrat. His loyalty to constituted authority was strong and abid- 
ing, and when, in 1842, members of his own party proved recreant to their duty as law- 
abiding citizens, he went to the field, shoulder to shoulder with his political antago- 
nists, with no thought but to maintain and vindicate the majesty of the government. 
Again, as delegate of his party at Charleston and Baltimore, in 1860, he with others 
used every effort to check tlTe rebellious tendency of the Southern members, and, 
when this proved of no avail, and our national existence was placed in jeopardy, he 
counted his life not too dear a price to pay to maintain the supremacy of the con- 
stitution. In his last letter came the words: "Should it be my lot to fall, know 
that it was in defense of our beloved Constitution." 

As a result of early training Mr. Babbitt's interest in military matters never 
flagged. In June, 1829, he was made inspector of the First Brigade of State Milita, 
and his thorough knowledge of tactics was often mfade serviceable in the drill-room 
of the Bristol Artillery. As soon after the outbreak of the Rebellion as business 
permitted, though tar beyond the age at which military duty is exacted, he entered 
the field as major of the Tenth Rhode Island Volunteers, a three months' regiment, 
with which he served from June 9, 1862, until September 1st, when he was commis- 
sioned to the same rank in the Seventh. At Fredericksburg, when the men were 
lying on the ground protected by a ridge less than three feet high, and a regiment 
less advanced was firing over their heads. Colonel Bliss received orders to make 
one more attempt on the entrenchments in their front. The major at once started to 
the rear to request that its firing be discontinued, when a ball passed in at one 
shoulder and out under the other arm infiicting what was not deemed to be a serious 
wound, but age and subsequent exposure proved too much for him, and he died at 
Mansion House Hospital, Alexandria, Va., Dec. 23, 1862, leaving a widow and five 
children: Rev. Benjamin Bosworth, Edward Spalding, Sai;ah Scott, wife of Lutber 
A. Martin, M. D., May Abby, afterward wife of Commander Samuel Dana Greene, 
United States Navy, and Julia Emily. The funeral occurred Jan. 1, 1863, at St. 
Micbiael's Church, with full military and civic honors. 

THOMAS F. TOBBY. 

Majob Thomas Fry TObey, son of Dr. Samuel Boyd and Sarah Earl Fry Tobey, 
eminent Quakers, was bom in Providence, R. I., Sept 30, 1840. He prepared for 
college at the University Grammar School, and was graduated at Brown University 
with the degree of Master of Arts In 1859. He was mttde a Bachelor of Law by 
Harvaird University Law School two years later. His reading was done in the office 
of John F. Tobey, of Providence. Admitted to the bar, Oct 1, 1861, he engaged in 
the practice of his profession until May 26, 1862, when he enlisted in Company 
D, Tenth Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers, and served as sergeant until appointed 
second lieutenant in the Seventh August 5th. He reported at the camp of the latter 
about August 20th, and was promoted to be captain of Company E, September 4th, 
on which commission he was mustered. Jan. 7, 1863, he was appointed major, but 
was compelled to resign Feb 9, 1864, while the regiment was at Point Bumside, Ky., 



PERSONAL SKETCHES. 327 

because of impaired health, his system haying been severely shattered by remittent 
fever, contracted during the Vicksburg campaign. 

Regaining strength during a year of rest, he enlisted Feb. 27, 1865, in Company 
F, Second Battalion, Fourteenth Regiment United States Infantry, then stationed at 
Fort Trumbull, Conn. March 1st he was appointed sergeant and recommended for 
promotion, which came May 3d, while on recruiting service at Hartford. At that 
time he was the only second lieutenant in the regiment, and was attached to Com- 
pany A. His captain resigned May 6th, and the same day he was made first lieuten- 
ant of Company C. His promotion as captain occurred Nov. 23, 1874. Because of 
disability contracted in the line of duty he was retired Jan. 9, 1892. 

Major Tobey married Marie Rebecca, daughter of Col. Charles Wesley and Hen- 
rietta Blizabeth Shoemaker Wingard. They have had no children. He is a mem- 
ber of the Grand Army of the Republic, of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion, 
and of the Masonic fraternity. 

CHARLES F. PAGE. 

Adjutant Chabixs Frarkun Pack, son of William and Ann McFarland Page, 
was tx>m in Boston, Mass., Aug. 16, 1839. He was originally commissioned first 
lieutenant Company C, Sept. 4, 1862, but two days later was nTade adjutant At 
Fredericksburg, December 13th, he was severely wounded in the head, losing one 
eye and being totally incapacitated for active service. Accordingly, Feb. 23, 1868, his 
resignation was accepted. At one time he was a member of the firm of Page it Stur- 
gesB. He had charge of the Berkeley Mills in this State, but subsequently for a quar- 
ter of a century he was in the employ of the Goddard Brothers. He was also a 
director of the Blackstone Cantal National Bank. In 1888 he was obliged to give up 
all work and business and spend his winters in the South, but it availed little though 
the entire year preceding his demise he spent in the enjoyment of its salubrious 
climate. He died at Aiken, S. C, Oct 6, 1891, of consumption. His remains were 
brought to Providence, and, after services at the Westminster Congregational (Unita- 
rian) Church, on Mathewson Street, were interred at Swan Point Cemetery. 

Mr. Page married April 14, 1869, Maria Louise, daughter of Adnah and Eliza H. 
Sackett, who died July 21, 1870. Agfain, in 1876, he married Hannah J. Blanvelt, of 
New York City, who survived him with one son, William B. Page. 

JOHN SULLIVAN. 

Adjutaitt John Suluvan was bom in Waterford, Ireland, in 1834. He served 
in the Sixth United States Infantry, Col. Albert Sidney Johnston, during the Mormon 
War. From that regiment he was discharged in 1862, holding at the time the rank 
of sergeant-major. With a comrade he dime east and enlisted in Company D, of 
which he was the first orderly sergeant December 2d he was on detached duty as 
acting sergeant-major. Jan. 7, 1863, he was promoted to second lieutenant and as- 
signed to Company K. On the 22d he was detailed acting adjutant, to which posi- 
tion he was commissioned March 1st, with the rank of first lieutenant. Just at 
dark, July 14th, he left the author and a comrade on the front line whither he had 
conducted them to point out the body of Sergt John K. Hull, of Company K. He had 
directed them to remove it to the rear and prepare it for burial, which instructions 
were carried out, but the adjutant missed his way and wandered into the rebel lines. 



328 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

where he was made prisoner. He was confined in Andersonville and other prisons 
until Feb. 22, 1866, when he was paroled at James River, Va. 

While at Salisbury, N. C, he organized a squad of prisoners who went to work 
and excawited a tunnel some sixty yards in length. On the first dftrk night, six 
departed, three going one way, three the opposite. The Sullivan squad traveled until 
morning, and then visited a negro cabin, soliciting advice. The colored man took 
them in, kept them and after dark conducted them several miles to the home of 
another friendly darky who took them through the mountains to East Tennessee, 
where they expected absolute freedom in the immediate future. Suddenly a 
man appeared in the road they were traveling. He halted them, and, when they 
replied evasively to his challenge, he charged them with being escaped Union prisoners 
and ordered them to come with him. Thus they were returned for seven additional 
months to rebel bondage. 

He was borne as absent with leave for thirty days by orders dated February 
26th, but did not rejoin the regiment until the evening of April 3d, when the com- 
mand had bivouacked on the first night out of Petersburg in pursuit of Lee. 

After. his muster out, June 9th, he returned to his former home in Cincinnati, 
Ohio, where he was married October 25th. That same year he enlisted in the 
Eighteenth United States Infantry, at Columbus, Ohio, and stationed at Fort Lyon, 
Kan.; Fort McPherson, Neb.; Fort Fullerman, Wyo., and other places, holding the 
rank of sergeant-major. Upon the expiration of his term of service (1868) he was 
discharged at Julesburg, Col. He died at Loveland, Larmer County, Col., July 3, 
1872. His occupation had been that of bookkeeper. 

HENRY J. bPOONBR. 

Acting Adjuta^nt Henbt Joshua Spooneb, son of Joshua and Ann Crawford Noyea 
Spooner, wsb born in Providence, Aug. 6, 1839. His father was for many years a 
wholesale dry goods merchant in that city; his mother, a woman of much literary 
culture and taste, was descended through her mother from the well known Updike 
family, while her father was a sea captain of much musical and artistic accomplish- 
ment, whose voyages traversed the three great oceans. Henry's early education was 
obtained from the public schools. In September, 1857, he entered Brown University 
and wsB graduated thence in 1860, with the degree of A. B., according to the fashion 
Just re-established in that institution. He early evinced an interest in and aptitude 
for discussion and debate, while his favorite studies were history, literature, rhetoric, 
and logic. During his sophomore year he was class president In 1861 he graduated 
from the Albany (N. Y.) Law School with the degree of LL. B., and was thereupon 
admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the empire state. Returning to his 
native city, he continued his studies in the office of Messrs. Thurston and Ripley, 
for years the leaders of the Rhode Island bar, until Aug. 27, 1862, when he was commis- 
sioned second lieutenant in the Fourth Regiment Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry, 
a regiment which had already been in the field some months, and that once reported 
for duty participating September 14th in the battle of South Mountain, and, on 
the 17th, in the bloody confiict at Antletam. During a portion of this latter day the 
Fourth occupied the extreme left of the Union line, and, after fording Antietam Creek 
in the face of the enemy's fire, while striving to carry the hill beyond, lost in killed 
and wounded nearly one-third of those on the field. Lieutenant Spooner received 



PERSONAL SKETCHES. 329 

two shots through his clothing and a slight contusion on the thigh. So hot indeed 
was the fire, there was scarcely a man who did not, at least, bear the mark of one 
bullet on some part of his clothing or equipments. 

Oct. 5, 1862, Mr. Spooner was mustered as first lieutenant, and was borne on 
the rolls as adjutant until Feb. 25, 1864, when he was transferred to Company B. But, 
meanwhile, he was on detached service at the Conscript Camp, New Haven, Conn., 
from July to November, 1863; absent sick from Oct. 23, 1863, to February, 1864; 
during that month and March, assistant commissary of subsistence Third Brigade, 
Heckman's Division, Eighteenth Army Corps; during April, assistant commissary of 
subsistence on the staff of Colonel Steere of the Fourth, and, from May 1st until No- 
vember, acting assistant commissary of subsistence Second Brigade, First Division, 
Eighteenth Army Corps. When relieved from this duty he reported to the command- 
ing officer of the Seventh, whither had already been sent the re-enlisted veterans of 
the Fourth and its recruits. There he was assigned to duty as adjutant of the two 
organizations until their consolidation was formally effected in February, 1865, when 
he was mustered out on the 5th, as a supernumerary. In addition to the engagements 
already referred to. Lieutenant Spo<mer participated in the battle of Fredericksburg, 
where Lieut-Col. Joseph B. Buffum commanding the regiment was shot dead at his 
side, the siege of Suffolk, Va., engagements at Edenton Road, Hill's Point, and Drury's 
Bluff, together with the long and tedious Siege of Petersburg. 

Once more at home he resumed the study of law, and early in June he was ad- 
mitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island. He commenced at once 
the practice of his profession, which he has pursued unremittingly to date. Mean- 
while, he has held the following offices (with others): Clerk and Justice of the 
Court of Magistrates from May, 1866, to May, 1869; president of the Franklin Lyceum, 
an ancient and well known literary and debating society in 1866 and 1867; member 
of the Rhode Island House of Representatives from 1875 to 1882, during three of 
which years, 1876-9, he was a member of the Judiciary committee, and two years 
speaker, 1879-81; colonel on the staff of his Excellency Henry Lippitt, from May, 
1875, to May, 1877; commander of the Department of Rhode Island, Grand Army of 
the Republic in 1877; representative in the Congress of the United States from the 
First District of Rhode Island, from 1881 to 1891. 

Mr. Spooner, has, until recently, been actively identified with the Republican Party. 
He stumped the state for Grant in 1868 and 1872, for Hayes in 1876, for Garfield in 
1880, for Blaine in 1884, and for Harrison in 1888 and 1892. In 1876 and 1880 he 
was a member of the Executive Committee of the State Central Republican Club, 
and from 1879 to 1881, inclusive, chairman of the Providence City Republican Club. 
He has Just been returned to the lower house of the State Legislature on the Demo- 
cratic ticket 

He married Mary S. daughter of David A. and Abby E. Brown, Nov. 16, 1868, by 
whom he has had one son, Henry J. Spooner, Jr., bom Nov. 13, 1869. 

DEAN S. LINNBLL. 

Acting Quabtebkasteb Dean Smith Linnell, eldest child of Capt. D. S. and 
Thankful N. Davis Linnell, was born at Brewster, Mass., Sept. 18, 1820. At the 
age of thirteen he went to sea with his father and continued with him until his 
twentieth year. He then repaired to Central Falls, R. I., and worked in the Home 



330 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

Print Works until the California gold fever broke out» when he became one of a 
party of fifty that sailed from Providence on the bark Perseverance, Capt George 
Heath, for San Francisco, on June 16, 1849. Upon his arrival he went immediately 
to the mining regions, but tarried there for a short time only. Returning to San 
Francisco he was appointed tax collector, and held the position for two years. Nov. 
14, 1852, he sailed for Rhode Island, where he engaged in machine and engine building 
until 1856, when he made another trip to California as a visit, remaining there one 
year. In 1858 he resumed his mechanical work in Providence, continuing therein 
until May 26, 1862, when he enlisted in Company B, Tenth Regiment Rhode Island 
Volunteers. June 1st he was detailed for duty in the quartermaster's department at 
Camp Frieze by order of Colonel Bliss, who transferred him to the Seventh as regi- 
mental quartermaster, upon the return of the former regiment to Providence. By the 
same authority he was relieved from duty Nov. 14, 1862. Three dajrs later Mr. 
Linnell started again for Rhode Island. For a time he conducted a recruiting office 
in Providence. In 1865 he engaged himself to the Hope Iron Works and remained 
with that establishment until the accident occurred that cost him his life. He had 
set up one of its engines at the American Institute Fair, New York City, and had 
run it five or six weeks, when, on Oct 10, 1867, as he was adjusting the nuts on the 
pillow block, the wrench slipped off causing him to fall into the flying wheel, which 
was revolving sixty times a minute. He was carried around three times, and thereby 
was so badly injured he died Just one week later, leaving a young wife and an infant 
son, as well as a large circle of friends, extending from Maine to California, to mourn 
his untimely end. The New York Hospital, the exhibitors at the Fair and the builders 
of the engine were alike' kind to him and to his stricken family, and did everything 
in their power to alleviate their condition. His remains were interred at Oak Grove 
Cemetery, Pawtucket, R. I. 

JOHN R. STANHOPE, Jb. 

QuABTEBKASTEB JoHN RiDEB Stanhopb, Jb., eldest son« but third child of John 
Rider and Harriet Cornell Stanhope, was born at Newport, R. I., May 28, 1823. He 
enlisted in Company I, Aug. 13, 1862; was mustered in as fourth sergeant, September 
4th, was transferred to non-commissioned staff as quartermaster-sergeant, and was 
commissioned as flrst lieutenant and quartermaster, November 3d, the first mall 
that reached the regiment after its arrival before Fredericksburg, bringing the parch- 
ment 

He accompanied the regiment to Kentucky and also to Vicksburg. After the 
capture of that city he was stricken with malaria, and, after a term in the hospital 
obtained a sick leave and went to Ohio, where it was renewed. At the expiration of 
the extension, he was honorably discharged, Oct 24, 1863. 

Once more at home he entered the employment of the Old Colony Railroad Com- 
pany and remained there five years. In December, 1870, he went to Cuba, and 
since that time he has been engaged in the shipping and commission business at 
Havana save during the few months of the Spanish War, when he resided at St 
Augustine, Fla. 

March 20, 1849, Mr. Stanhope married at St Louis, Mo., Louisa W. Coates. She 
died June 14, 1889. At St. Augustine, July 11, 1894, he married Emma J. S. Morrell. 



PEBSONAL SKETCHES. 331 

SAMUBL FESSBNDEN. 

QuABTEBMABTEB Samuel Fesbeitden, 8on of William H. and Lydia RuBsell Feasen- 
den, was born at Sandwich, Mass., May 3, 1883. He attended the public schools of 
his native village, but completed his education at Professor Wells's Academy for boys. 
This must have been at a comparatively early age for his father died when he was but 
fourteen, and the family were already settled in Peoria, 111. He then made his home 
with an uncle, Benjamin Fessenden, who had migrated thither at an earlier date. 
Just when he returned East is unknown, but he was a resident of Pawtucket at the 
outbreak of the Rebellion, and enlisted as a private in Company G, June 1, 1862. 
He was appointed sergeant-major of the regiinent June 7, 1863; October 20th, commis- 
sioned second lieutenant, and first lieutenant and quartermaster, November 18th, but 
was not mustered as such until March 22, 1864. He left the service Dec. 16, 1864. 

Dec. 13, 1870, he married Mrs. Edwin J. Carglll n4e Huldah Jennie Golden, daugh- 
ter of William and Joanna Sheldon Golden. He died at Saylesville, R. I., Feb. 11, 
1894, leaving a widow, a daughter, Jennie H., wife of Walter Irving Vose of ManviUe, 
and three sons; William Russell of Providence, Samuel Miles of Saylesville, and 
Myron Fuller a pupil in the Central Falls High School. He had previously lost a 
daughter, Mary Wilkinson, at the age of four years. In 1867 Mr. Fessenden was 
town clerk of Cumberland, but the next year he went to the bleachery at Saylesville 
where he was clerk for eight years. He established the post office there and purchased 
the coal used by the company, by the operatives, and by the residents generally. He 
was judge of the probate court of the town of Lincoln two and a half years, but 
held a commission as public notary for a much longer period. For many years he 
was a member of the Town Council and an assessor of taxes. Indeed, as a politi- 
cian he was quite prominent in that region. He was a member of the Masonic frater- 
nity and the Order of Good Fellows; also of the Memorial Congregational Church at 
Saylesville, in the Sunday School connected with which he taught the Toung Men's 
Bible Class. 

EPHRAIM C. MORSE. 

QuABTERKASTEB EPHEAiM CROCKETT MoBSE, SOU of Joel and Rebocca Crockett 
Morse, was bom in Durham, Me., April 7, 1822. Arrived at man's estate, we find 
him engaged with his brother Orin, in the sawmill business at Lewiston, in that 
state. There he married Aug. 12, 1847, Ann Maria McKenney. One of her sisters 
was married to Hon. Nelson Dingley, twenty-eighth governor of Maine, and over 
twelve years a member of Congress from that state, while another was the wife of 
John Perkins, a prominent manufacturer of that place. Near the close of 1853 Mr. 
Morse removed to Newport, R. I., where he conducted a lumber and planing mill 
business. In April, 1866, he united with the First Baptist Church in that city. 

Mr. Morse enlisted in Company I, Aug. 12, 1862, and was appointed third sergeant 
December 13th he was slightly wounded at Fredericksburg. April 13, 1863, he was 
commissioned second lieutenant and mustered as such in Company G, on the 16th. 
May 18, 1864, he received a slight wound at Spottsylvania. Jan. 11, 1866, he was com- 
missioned first lieutenant and quartermaster, and at once was mustered as such. He 
was mustered out July 25th, to date from June 9th. 

Mr. Morse died at Auburn, Me., Aug. 1, 1885, leaving a widow who was residing 
at Sonoma, Cal., in 1901. A daughter had preceded him to the spirit world. 



332 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

JAMES HARRIS. 

SuBOEON James Habbis, son of Benjamin Gushing and Bliza Green Harris, was 
born at Providence, R. I., Feb. 23, 1827. His early education was obtained at 
Hartshorn's preparatory school, from which he entered Brown University in 1843. 
His parents, however, removed to New York City during the ensuing twelve months, 
so his attendance was naturally transferred to the University of New York, where 
he was graduated in 1847. Later he studied medicine, attending two courses of 
lectures at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in that city, and later one at the 
Philadelphia College of Medicine and Surgery, receiving its diploma in 1852. From 
December of that year to December, 1854, he resided at the Emigrant Hospital, Ward's 
Island, as a member of its staff. On the expiration of his term of service he at 
once went to the Crimea securing on the way a contract through which he received 
the rank of an army surgeon and a salary of 120 roubles per month in gold. He 
commenced work in the city of Sevastopol, March 22, 1855, remained there through 
three of its fl^e bombardments, the first having occurred before his arrival and the 
last after his departure. He received his dismissal on account of illness; he had been 
the victim of typhoid fever and was long convalescing. In appreciation of his ser- 
vices, however, he subsequently received through the Russian minister at Washing- 
ton the order of St. Stanistas Class III., and two medals, the Crimean (for the whole 
war) and that for the "Siege of Sevastopol," to be worn with the ribbons 
of St. George and St. Andrew respectively. The mortality of the American physi- 
cians there was terrific; ten of the twenty of whom the doctor heard perished from 
disease, among whom was a Dr. Draper, of Providence, to whom he carried a note of 
introduction, but whom he found already dead. The diseases to which they were 
exposed were typhoid fever, smallpox, and cholera, the latter being of a rapid type, 
ne says: "I was not good for much when I reached home, but I got careful nursing 
from my dear old mother, and it was not long before I was in practice in St 
Louis." 

When the Rebellion broke out he repaired at once to his native state, and was 
appointed assistant surgeon in the First Regiment Rhode Island Detached Milita. 
As Dr. Harris was out for business and the First was but for three months, he secured 
an order from Colonel Burnside, then commanding the brigade, transferring him 
to the Second Rhode Island, and was told his commission would be forthcoming in 
due time. He actually served on the staff of that regiment, and is so borne in the 
Revised Register of Rhode Island Volunteers. He was riding with Colonel Slocum 
not ten minutes before the latter received his mortal wound. When the brigade, to 
its great surprise, was ordered to move to the rear, Dr. Harris decided, with a num- 
ber of other surgeons, to remain at Sudley Church and care for the wounded. Con- 
sequently he was taken prisoner July 21, 1861, and sent to Richmond, where he 
was conditionally paroled (not to leave the city) August 13th. September 19th, he 
was fully paroled and afterward informally exchanged. He was discharged as from 
the First Rhode Island September 23d, the uncertainty attending the duration of 
his detention in Dixie causing the governor to fill his position in the Second with 
another. A letter from the surgeon general's office, dated July 26, 1862, tendered him 
the charge of the Portsmouth Grove Hospital, but he preferred field service, and 
accepted a commission in the Seventh dated Aug. 18, 1862. The intervening time he 
had spent in hospital work about Providence. 



PERSONAL SKETCHES. 33S 

Soon after the regiment took the field he was detached therefrom, and served 
on brigade or other staff duty, though at one time he had charge of the corps hospi- 
tal. He was medical inspector of the corps on Bumside's stalf; surgeon-in-chief 
Second Division, Ninth Corps, from Oct. 19, 1864, until May 18, 1866, when he was 
made medical inspector of the corps. He was mustered out June 9th. 

In 1867 he went as surgeon on the BtonetoaU to Japan, where he has "lived for 
the most part ever since in quiet and simple enjoyment, though Japan has lost the 
glamour it had in 1868. I have made two visits home, finding there also change and 
most things strange and little to my taste." He retired from practice in 1890 and 
devotes his leisure to the study of anthropology. He never married. 

WILLIAM A. GAYLORD. 

Assistant Subgeon Wiixiam Alvestus Gaylobd, the elder of the two sons and 
the only children of Rufus and Abigail Riggs Qaylord, was bom at Westfield, Mass., in 
his grandfather's house, June 17, 1820. His father died when he was scarcely five 
years of age, so he remained there with his mother until she married a second time. 
Even then he continued to tarry under the ancestral roof until his grandmother's death 
which occurred when he was about fifteen. Then he was sent to his mother at 
Hartford, Conn., by whom he was almost immediately apprenticed to a Mr. Andrews, 
stucco worker, after the manner of that time. When sufficiently advanced in years 
and strength and knowledge (i. e., at the age of nineteen) he bought his remaining 
time, and, by Judiciously combining labor and study, under the direction of Dr. 
William Marcy, an eminent practitioner of that city, succeeded, eventually, in 
graduating at the Harvard Medical School in 1848. It was ever his proud boast that 
whatever he possessed, whether of knowledge or of worldly goods, he secured by hard 
work. That he obtained a good foundation for his professional studies is evident 
from the fact that he taught Greek and Latin as well as penmanship in order to 
assist himself to his diploma. 

His first location was in New Hampshire, and, as soon as he became established, 
he took unto himself a wife, Esther Rogers, of Hartford. In 1856, if not earlier, 
he removed to Valley Falls, R. I., and a little later to Pawtucket, where he con- 
tinued to reside until his death, Oct. 24, 1893. Jan. 31, 1873, he was married for a 
second time to Elvira, daughter of Warren Messinger and Eliza Ayer Orswell, of 
Shirley, Mass., who survives him with one son bearing his father's name, and a 
graduate of the self-same professional school exactly a half century later. He con- 
tinues his father's labors, which had proved satisfactorily remunerative. 

Dr. Gaylord, Sr., served as assistant surgeon of the Seventh, Aug. 29, 1862, until 
Jan. 2, 1863. 

CHARLES G. COREY. 

Assistant Subgkon Chables Ghandebson Cobet, fifth son of David and Betsey 
Winshlp Corey, was bom in Jaffrey, N. H., Aug. 28, 1826. His boyhood was spent 
on the home farm attending the common schools and academy of his native town. 
Subsequently, he pursued preparatory studies at several schools In the state, finally 
attending medical lectures at Bowdoin and at Dartmouth, from the latter of which 
he was graduated in 1867. He then established himself in the practice of his profes- 
sion at South Royalston, Mass. When it had become evident there was quite a war 



334 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

on our hands, he applied at Boston for assignment to a position with some organlzar 
tion of the volunteer force. After passing a successful examination there, he was 
recommended to the Seventh Rhode Island and was mustered April 29, 1863. He was 
with the regiment save when on detached duty March 11 — ^April 24, 1865. June 6, 1865, 
he was transferred to the Battalion Seventh Rhode Island Volunteers, and was 
mustered out with them July 18th. 

He returned home sick, and, for a long time, was unable to resume professional 
labor. Finally, he located in Greenville, R. I., where he died Oct 19, 1878, from the 
effects of his army service. At that time he was acting superintendent of the public 
schools in that place. 

March 10, 1856, he married Susan Maria Mitchell, of Fitchburg, Mass., who, with 
a daughter survived him. 

ALBERT G. SPRAGUB, Jr. 

Assistant Suboeon Albebt Gallatin Spbague, Jr., son of Albert O. and Mary 
Fiske Sprague, was born in Providence, R. I., Nov. 22, 1886. His grandmother, on 
the paternal side. Amy Williams Sprague, was descended in direct line from the 
illustrious Roger. His early education was received at Pierce Academy, Middleboro, 
Mass.; he graduated at the Jefferson Medical College, of Philadelphia, Pa., in 1859. 
He was assistant surgeon of the Tenth Rhode Island from May 26, 1862, until Septem- 
ber 1st, when the regiment was mustered out He was appointed to the same rank 
in the Seventh Aug. 29, 1862; was mustered in September 22d; was absent sick from 
November 17th to January, 1863; was on detached service in hospital at City Point 
from January, 1865, until March 11th, and was mustered out June 9th. The next 
year he entered upon the practice of his profession at Riverpolnt, R. I., where he 
has since continued to reside. 

Nov. 22, 1859, he married Ellen T. Duncan, by whom he has had a son and a 
daughter, both deceased. He is president of the State Board of Health, of which he 
has been a member since its organization in 1878. He was a representative to the 
General Assembly in 1886-7, has been health officer of the Town of Warwick since 1887, 
and a member of its Council from 1899 to 1902. He is a member of McGregor Post, No. 
14, Grand Army of the Republic, of Phenix, of the Warwick Club, of the Providence 
Press Club, and of the Providence Athletic Association. 

HARRIS HOWARD. 

Chaplain Habbis Howabd it has been found Impossible accurately to trace. He 
was discharged from the National Soldiers' Home, Togus, Me., March 20, 1890. It 
is there recorded his nearest friend was Mrs. S. E. Ingalls, Belvidere, 111. A letter 
to her address was returned. The city clerk of that city believes (Sept 5, 1900,) him 
to be he who came there about 1840 with his father Deacon Tinker, and was named 
Harris H. Tinker. There was a brother, John B. Tinker, who removed several yean 
ago, possibly to Iowa. There were two sisters, both now deceased. If, he, indeed, was 
Harris H. Tinker, evidently he believed his surname to be too trifling for the cloth. 
A letter from Mrs. J. B. Tinker, dated Kansas City, Mo., Oct 3, 1900, states that 
"Father Tlaker was striken with paralysis Sept. 16, 1899. He cannot see to read your 
letter, and he is so deaf we cannot talk to him enough to make him understand what 
you want to know." 



PERSONAL SKETCHES. 335 

JOSBPH J. D. GRAFTON. 

QuABTEBMASTEB Sebgeant JOSEPH Jambson Dods Obation wbb hoTVL In Smithfleld, 
R. I., Aug. 29, 1820. May 1, 1844, he married Harriet B. Campbell, who was bom in 
Bolton, Mass., April 11, 1824. Though he enlisted In Company B, he had served 
some time in the quartermaster's department. Nov. 14, 1862, John R. Stanhope, who 
had been serving as quartermaster sergeant, was promoted to quartermaster; he was 
appointed to the vacancy thus created December 31st, but it was dated back to Novem- 
ber 3d. 

Sergeant Orafton died at Providence, R. I., Nov. 7, 1889, after an illness of 
nearly seven years. His widow followed him Dec. 3, 1896. Two daughters survive 
them, Mrs. H. E. Hewitt Waite and Mrs. Ada M. Briggs. 

STEPHEN F. PECKHAM. 

Hospital Stewabd Stephen Fabnitm Peckham is the son of Charles and Hannah 
Lapham Famum Peckham. His grandfather, Thomas Peckham, was deputy collector 
of the port of Providence from 1811-1843. He is a lineal descendant of John Peckham, 
who, with the Clarkes and other Baptists, settled in Newport, R. I., about 1638. On his 
father's side he is descended from John Howland,of the If ay/fou^er, whose son Jabez was 
one of the original settlers of Bristol, R. I., and, on his mother's side, from Richard 
Scott, John LApham, and other early Quakers who settled in and around Providence. 
On both sides he came from Governors John Coggeshall and Jeremiah Clarke, and 
others of the followers of Anne Hutchinson, who founded the town of Portsmouth, 
R. I., in 1638. He may therefore be said to be a pure Rhode Islander. , 

He was bom at Fruit Hill, North Providence, March 26, 1839. His childhood and 
youth were spent upon his father's farm, and in attendance upon the village school in 
its neighborhood. The winters of 1863, 1864, and 1866, were spent at the Friends Yearly 
Meeting Boarding School at Providence. The winter of 1866-7 was devoted to a 
special course in chemistry in the laboratory of Brown University. In the spring of 
1867 he entered the drug store of Albert L. Calder, in Providence, where he remained 
two years, and acquired a thorough knowledge of pharmacy under the eflOdent instruc- 
tion of that master of the art. In the fall of 1869 he returned to Brown University, 
and completed the work required for the B. P. course as a special student with the 
class of 1861. In consequence of events incident to the outbreak of the Civil War, he 
did not graduate. 

During the fall of 1861 and winter of 1861-2 he was engaged with the late 
Hon. Messrs. Elisha Dyer and N.P.Hill, the latter then being Professor Hill, in the con- 
struction, equipment, and operation of a petroleum refinery in Providence, R. I. The 
technology of the plant was entrusted wholly to Mr. Peckham, and was entirely 
successful, but, from lack of capital and other causes, was not remunerative. Con- 
sequently, in the early summer of 1862, Mr. Peckham withdrew from the enterprise, 
soon after enlisting in the Seventh Rhode Island Volunters, Aug. 16, 1862. He was 
immediately made hospital steward of the regiment with Dr. James Harris as sur- 
geon. He served with the regiment until the Ninth Army Corps hospital was or- 
ganized for the Wilderness campaign, when he was assigned to duty there. Soon 
after, he was placed in charge of the medical records under the medical director of the 
Ninth Army Corps at corps headquarters. There he remained under Drs. McDonald 



336 SEVENTH KHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

and Taylor until January, 1865, when he was sent to Philadelphia in charge of the 
chemical department of the United States army laboratory, where he remained until 
discharged from the service by orders from the war department May 26, 1866. 

Returning to Rhode Island on June 13, 1865, he married Mary Chase, daughter 
of Charles M. and Adriana Fisher Peck, of Providence, and with her sailed 
on June 15, 1865, from New York for San Francisco. Arriving there about July 10th, 
he immediately proceeded down the coast to the Ojai Ranche, in the neighborhood of 
Santa Barbara, where he remained a year as chemical expert for the California 
Petroleum Company. He then entered the service of the California Geological Survey 
under Prof. Josiah D. Whitney. After a careful examination of all the operations 
then being carried on for oil, and the preparation of an elaborate report upon the 
Oil Interest of Southern California, he returned to New England to make a techni- 
cal examination of the California bitumens and report upon the same. This ex- 
amination was made in the laboratories of the Providence Franklin Society and of 
Prof. Cyrus M. Warren, at Boston. 

In 1867 he was engaged as tutor in chemistry by Brown University. In 1868 
he went to Cambridge, Mass., and, in the laboratory of the LAwrence Scientific School, 
again took up his researches upon the California bitumens. 

During 1869 he held the chair of chemistry at vVashington College, Washington, 
Pa., and, during 1870 and 1871, at the Maine State College, Orono, Me. During the 
summer of 1871 he conducted for Prof. J. D. Whitney an analytical Investigation of 
Pacific Coast Coals, upon which he made a report. During 1872, he was at Buchtel 
College, Akron, Ohio, where he held the chair of chemistry and physics. In 1873 
he accepted the chair of chemistry in the University of Minnesota, at Minneapolis, 
Minn. He was also chemist to the Geological Survey of Minnesota and to the State 
Board of Health. In the latter capacity he made in 1877 an extended research and 
report upon the water supply of the Red River Valley. In 1878 he investigated the 
extensive fiour mill explosions that occurred in Minneapolis, May 8, 1878, making 
a report thereon that attracted wide attention In Insurance and scientific circles, 
both in the United States and Europe. 

In 1881 he again returned to Providence to take up the preparation of a mono- 
graph on petroleum for the tenth census of the United States. This work was in its 
extended title a treatise on the "Natural history, technology, and uses of petroleum," 
including statistics of the production, manufacture, and commerce of petroleum 
during the census year in the United States and foreign countries. It was at the 
date of its publication the most exhaustive work on the subject ever issued, and re- 
quired several years in its preparation, appearing in 1885. In 1889 he removed his 
family to Ann Arbor, Mich., where he established a laboratory for the analytical and 
technical examination of problems relating to bitumens. In 1893 he returned to the 
Pacific ccast and remained until December, 1894. While there he was engaged in 
the investigation of problems relating to the technology of California bitumens. In 
August, 1893, he read a paper upon "Petroleum in its Relation to Asphaltic Pave- 
ments" before the Congress of Chemists that met in association with the World's 
Columbian Exposition, and, in June, 1894, he^ read another paper before the Congress 
of Chemists that met in San Francisco, in association with the Mid-Winter Fair, 
upon the "Nitrogen Content of California Bitumens." This latter paper has been 
quoted from Boston to Calcutta. 




HOSP. STEW. STEPHEN F. PECKHAM. 



PERSONAL SKBTCHES. 337 

Returning to Michigan in December, 1894, he visited en route the bitumen 
deposits of Northern Texas and the Indian Territory, and arranged as an expert for 
the Peoria Asphalt Paring suit He sailed in February, 1895, for Trinidad, West Indies, 
and examined the celebrated Pitch LAke, returning in March. The examination of 
the specimens brought from Trinidad with a second trip to the Indian Territory, oc- 
cupied the summer of 1896, the trial of the case coming oft in November. Various 
technical and analytical problems filled 1896, and, in March, 1897, a third trip was 
made to the Indian Territory, from which he returned in November to read before 
the League of American Municipalities at Columbus, Ohio, an address upon "How 
to obtain a good asphalt street for the least money." In August, 1898, he was called 
to the city of New York to conduct a laboratory for the commissioners of accounts. 
This very confidential and responsible position he has since held. 

Besides the monograph on petroleum, he has published an elementary text-book 
on chemistry (Louisville, J. P. Morton A Co., 1873,) as well as the articles on Petro- 
leum and allied subjects, for the ninth edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, Ap- 
pleton'8 American Encyclopedia, Johnson's Encyclopedia, etc., as well as numerous 
articles contributed to scientific periodicals in both Burope and America, chiefly upon 
chemical and mineralogical subjects. He is considered one of the first authorities 
living on the subject of bitumens. 

Mrs. Mary C. Peckham died March 20, 1892, in Ann Arbor, deeply lamented by a 
wide circle of friends to whom her brilliant social and intellectual gifts had greatly 
endeared her. Professor Peckham was married Aug. 1, 1902, to Hattie Catherine 
Wait Van Buren, M. D., of Brooklyn, N. Y., daughter of Bartley Lansing and Margaret 
Josephine Williams Van Buren, of Lebanon Springs, N. Y. By his first marriage he 
had Edward Hall, bom in San Francisco, April 2, 1866; died in Orono, Me., Jan. 31, 
1871; Herbert Bdmund, bom July 24, 1871, A. B., University Mich., 1894, a physician; 
Anna Hope, bom April 17, 1873, Chicago Kindergarten College, 1899; Mary Wythe, 
born March 27, 1875, Pratt Institute, 1901. 

Professor Peckham received the honorary degree of A. M. from Brown University 
in 1870. He is a member and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement 
of Science, the New York Lyceum of Natural History, the American Chemical Society, 
the Society of Chemical Industry, the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia, the American 
Philosophical Society, etc. 

JAMBS CARPBNTER. 

Pbincifal Musician James Carfenteb, son of Isaac H. and Abbie Perry Carpenter, 
was bom in Wakefield, R. I., May 13, 1843. In 1861 when Gen. I. P. Rodman recruited 
Company B of the Second Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers, and went to camp on 
Dexter Training Ground, Providence, James accompanied it, expecting to go to the 
front His parents withheld their consent, however, so after two weeks of tent life 
he was obliged to return home, which now was at Peacedale. Though disappointed 
he patiently awaited another chance and when Capt Rowland G. Rodman commenced 
to recruit what eventually became Company G of the Seventh, young Carpenter and 
a friend, Frank B. Holland, proved themselves valuable assistants. By day and by 
night they played upon the fife and drum as required, visiting most sections of 
Washington County in the search for additional members. James enrolled himself 
August 8th, and acquitted himself creditably during the entire term of service. He 



338 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

was made principal musician Dec. 16, 1864, when in Fort Hell, but was always 
recognized as head flfer. After he was mustered out he consecrated his entire life 
to music. Not only does he give instruction on the piano, the flute, the comet, and, 
the violin, but he is a manufacturer of the latter instrument Though residing at 
Peacedale, his field of labor is co-extensive with Washington County. He is leader 
of the Wakefield Band and instructor of the Lafayette Cornet Band. 

He married May 13, 1866, Mary E. Hill, by whom he had a son and daughter, 
John R. and Jennie M., who are likewise skilled in the musical art, and assist their 
sire in dispensing its knowledge for leagues in every direction. 

EDWARD T. ALLEN. 

Captajn Edwabd 'ntACY Allen, eldest of three sons of Eidwin Allen, a manu:- 
facturer of wood printing type, was bom in Windham, Conn., Nov. 1, 1838. One 
brother is Hon. Edwin R. Allen, late lieutenant-governor of Rhode Island and earlier 
a first lieutenant of the Seventh, the other is Charles N. Allen, a manufacturer in 
Connecticut, and formerly acting assistant engineer United States Navy. On his 
father's side he descended from Col. Ebeneser Tracy, of Connecticut, and on his 
mother's from Col. Joseph Noyes, of the Rhode Island militia, both of whom par- 
ticipated in the Revolutionary War. His early education was obtained in the district 
schools of his town and finished at Hall's Academy, Ellington, Conn. At the age of 
eighteen he entered the store of S. Robinson A Son, Wakefield, R. I., and continued 
there until he entered the service. 

At the outbreak of the Rebellion Mr. Allen Joined the Narragansett Guards, a 
battalion organized in that village by Col. Isaac P. Rodman, afterward Colonel of 
the Fourth Rhode Island and brigadier-general United States Volunteers. The first 
company of the Guards with the latter gentleman as captain was accepted as Company 
E, Second Rhode Island Volunteers. The former remained with the second company 
of the Guards as first sergeant and materially assisted Lieutenant-Colonel Arnold in 
the maintenance of the organization. The second call for 300,000 three years' men 
brought out the balance of the battalion, and Allen was deputized as recruiting oflicer 
at Wakefield. When it had enrolled one hundred and four men under command of 
Capt. R. G. Rodman, First Lieutenant G. N. Durfee, and Second Lieutenant E. T. Allen, 
it reported at Camp Bliss near Providence, Aug. 16, 1862, and was accepted as Com- 
pany G. At Falmouth, Va., he was taken ill, and granted sick leave, but rejoined the 
regiment at the battle of Fredericksburg, December 13th. Jan. 7, 1863, he was com- 
missioned first lieutenant and assigned to the command of Company A in the absence 
of Captain Leavens (wounded). Timid in disposition Lieutenant Allen asked to be 
assigned to a company having a captain in command, but Colonel Bliss declined to 
accede to the request, so with redoubled energy he betook himself to the study of the 
army regulations and tactics that he might be the better prepared for the responsi- 
bilities resting upon him. At this time he frequently found himself In charge of 
the picket line on the north bank of the Rappahannock. From Newport News he 
reported to Major Tobey, at Lexington, Ky., with two companies. While encamped 
near Richmond, Ky., he was commissioned captain of the same company (A ) to date 
from May 14, 1863. Their stay at these two places as well as at Crab Orchard and 
Richmond was thoroughly enjoyed by the entire regiment, and it correspondingly 
Improved in drill and discipline. « 




r 




PERSONAL SKETCHES. 339 

The Vickfiburg campaign especially to and from Jackaon was a severe one for 
officers and men, but Captain Allen and Lieutenant Merrill endured it well, being on 
duty every day. At this time the former was fortunate in the possession of a stout 
negro boy who attached himself to him at Lexington. When the regiment returned 
to Kentucky this boy Willis went to Rhode Island, enlisted in a colored regiment 
and died at New Orleans in the service. Yet the captain was so debilitated by his 
experiences he narrowly escaped drowning subsequently in Licking River at Coving- 
ton, Ky., being rescued by the united efforts of Lieut G. B. Perkins and Corp. R. 

C. Phillips. Dr. Corey labored with him two hours to restore him to life and duty. 

August, 1863, found Captain Allen again at Lexington. One Sunday morning he 
was ordered to impress two hundred negroes for work on the United States Military 
Railroad at Nicholasville. Many were picked up around town, but the larger portion 
were captured by surrounding a colored church and taking in the men as they filed 
out from service while the women and children were permitted to pass on. 

Later he was detailed to the staff of Col. W. S. King commanding the post In 
this capacity, with a detachment of Michigan cavalry he participated for three days 
and nights in the pursuit of John Morgan, capturing some of his command. On an- 
other occasion, he was ordered to clean out some of Morgan's command near Cyn- 
thiana, Ky., which was effectually done. 

Captain Allen rejoined his regiment at Point Isabel (or Burnside) and accom- 
panied it to Anni4K>lis, and on the advance to Petersburg. During the latter move- 
ment he was always at the front and for duty, at times having as many as four com- 
panies under his command. Though his hat and clothing were cut more than once 
by bullets, he escaped injury until June 18, 1864, when he was wounded in the left 
leg before Petersburg. He was conveyed to the Armory Square Hospital, Washington, 

D. C, whence he was honorably discharged for resulting disability August 29th. 

The next decade he spent in New Haven, Conn., for a third of which time, at 
least, he was connected with a machinery manufacturing company, and in such a 
manner as to frequently necessitate visiting the Provinces. The year 1866 was 
spent, however, in California. April 30, 1867, he married Elizabeth Clarke, daughter 
of Col. Geo. W. and Ann Frances Cady Sheldon, of Wakefield, R< I. No children were 
vouchsafed them, but in July he informally adopted those of Mrs. Allen's sister 
Emma, who died Oct. 12, 1886, leaving twin daughters Emma S. and Anna C, only 
two days old, and a son, George W., born June 8, 1885. Their father, William Allen 
Kenyon, died Dec. 16, 1887, at Wakefield. 

In 1876 he established a wholesale hardware and fire-arms business, which has 
grown to a foremost position, and in which he still continues. He is a member of 
George H. Thomas Post, No. 2, Grand Army of the Republic, at San Francisco, and 
of the California Commandery of the Loyal Legion. 

GUSTAVUS D. BATES. 

Captain Gustavus Davis Bates, fifth child of Welcome and Jemima Grow Bates, 
was bom in Thompson, Conn., Oct. 2, 1839. His mother was second cousin to Hon. 
Galusha A. Grow, of Pennsylvania, whilom speaker of the National House of Repre- 
sentatives. At the age of seven years he became a mill operative and was thus em- 
ployed until he was thirteen. Though but sparingly receiving the benefit of the 
common schools of his native town, at sixteen he became a school teacher in Burrlll- 



340 SEVENTH RHODE ISLAND INFANTRY. 

ville, R. I., remaining there two terms. The following year he taught for an equal 
period at North Grosvenordale, Conn. Later he entered a factory store at Oroevenor- 
dale. Conn. 

After two unsuccessful attempts to enlist in that state, he came to Providence 
and was enrolled in Company B, of the Seventh, in July, 1862. Ere long he was pro- 
moted to corporal and then to third sergeant, being mustered as such September 6th. 
He was afterward appointed first sergeant, and later commissioned second lieuten- 
ant of Company E, March 1, 1863, as well as first lieutenant. Company K, 
May 23d. October 14th he was discharged for disability, but was reappointed 
November 14th, and promoted to be captain of Company B, July 26, 18Q4. Having 
become well-nigh disabled by exposure and a wound he resigned and was honorably 
discharged November 2d. 

From 1866 to 1876 Captain Bates was traveling salesman for two Boston houae& 
In 1876 he assumed the management of the New York City oflice of Qeorge B. Cluett, 
Bros., 4b Co., whose factories were at Troy, N. Y. In 1884 he removed to Putnam, 
Conn., where he established with the late John S. Lindsey, the Connecticut Clothing 
Company, with a branch at Southbridge, Mass. In March, 1891, he sold the former, 
and, in the fall of 1892, the latter. At present he is a member of the firm of D